from Molly Beverly

Makes 2 cups.

Adapted from Mediterranean Cooking by Paula Wolfert (a great cookbook with a multitude of fantastic eggplant dishes.) Fire roasting the eggplant infuses it with a wonderful smoky flavor. If you have your barbeque going, definitely roast an eggplant for this dip. If not, use the oven-stove top method.

Greek Version:

1 medium eggplant, about 1 pound
2-3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/3 cup olive oil

Roast the eggplant. This works best on a gas or charcoal grill, outside, so your house does not heat up. Alternatively use a gas burner on your stove or roast in the oven on highest heat. Cook eggplant, turning occasionally until blackened and blistered and completely soft. Remove stems. Place roasted eggplant in blender or food processor (or finely chop). Add remaining ingredients and blend. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Served chilled with sesame crackers or wedges of pita bread.

Syrian version:

Add 1/2 cup plain yogurt.

Lebanese version (Baba Ghanoush):

Add 2 Tablespoons tahini, sesame seed paste. (Available at health food stores.)