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Easy Peasy Dip: Eggplant with Yogurt

This has to be one of the easiest afterschool snacks I can think of making (while also doubling as a nice appetizer or sandwich spread) that doesn’t include opening a box of cheddar bunnies. And with eggplant season just about here, it’s always good to find new ways to make use of those purple beauties besides breading and coating them with sauce and cheese (not that there’s anything wrong with that).When most people think eggplant and dip they imagine baba ghanouj, which is classic and delicious, but this creamy version does not require tahini. It’s just slow roasted eggplant, Greek yogurt, garlic, and lemon. And while it’s traditionally served as a mezze (Mediterranean appetizer) it is perfect to eat outdoors after day camp gets out or for a light healthy snack between meals. I make it early in the morning and then keep it in the fridge until we need it…you should have enough for a large group.

RECIPE FOR EASY EGGPLANT DIP (adapted from Claudia Roden’s wonderful cookbook Arabesque)

-Pre-heat your oven to 475.
-Take two eggplants and prick them all over with a pointy knife (this will prevent the eggplant from exploding). Place them on a baking sheet and put in the oven for about 45 minutes (the skin should be wrinkly and the eggplant should feel soft if you press it with a wooden spoon).
-Remove eggplant and allow to cool. When not too hot to handle peel off the skin with your fingers, discard the skin. Place the peeled eggplants in a colander with small holes and begin pressing on them with a wooden spoon to get out all the liquid (it’s OK if they get mushy in the process).
-Once they seem pretty dry, mash it up with the spoon (you can also put the eggplants on cutting board and chop them roughly). Place mashed eggplant in a medium sized bowl and add 1 cup of Greek yogurt (full fat is best, but you can use 2%), juice of one large lemon, 2 pressed garlic cloves, and salt to taste. Mash it all up.

**Serve with pita chips or whatever cracker you like. It’s also delicious on toasted pita with feta and tomatoes.

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