Burnt eggplant - from Jerusalem cookbook
Ingredients: eggplants, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, mint, pomegranate seeds (optional), salt + pepper
Preparing: Burn your eggplant: put your eggplants (at least 2 large or 3 medium) on a hot grill* for about 20-25 minutes, burning each side of the eggplant until it is actually flaky and black. Allow the eggplant to cool a bit and then peel off the skin, reserving all of the soft, silky meat in a colander. Allow to drain for about an hour to get rid of excess liquid. Then place the eggplant meat in a bowl with chopped garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil (at least 1/4 cup), salt and pepper and marinate at least 1 hour (the longer the better).
Eating: When ready to serve, stir in some chopped parsley and mint, garnish with a bit of the parsley and pomegranate seeds if you have them. Great as a dip with pitas.
Dish history: We love a mezze platter, and the Jerusalem cookbook has amazing recipes for vegetable-based dips. We've served it several times and people are always surprised at how silky the eggplant is.
* The original recipe also suggests placing the eggplants directly on your gas range or broiling them.