AKA Baba Ghanoush
There is a new vegan restaurant in town called Vedge. The food is so delicious, well-plated, and many of the flavors involve smoke. Mmmmmmmmmm smoke! I leave inspired to recreate my favorite dishes, and have given this spread a try as well as smoked mushroom tartare. They have also inspired me to eat most of my meals off a small bamboo cutting board. Class.
1 medium or large eggplant
1 tsp liquid smoke
juice of half a lemon
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 C toasted sesame seeds, or 2 tbsp tahini
small pinch red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 C parsley, chopped (optional)
Slice the eggplant into 1/2-1″ thick rounds. Lay on a baking sheet – a little overlapping is fine. Bake at 400* for about 10-15 minutes, or until the eggplant is golden on top and tender if skewered. Let cool somewhat. In a food processor, process the eggplant with all other ingredients EXCEPT parsley. Run until very smooth, scraping the sides occasionally. Add in parsley and pulse. Store in the refrigerator for up to ~8 days. My favorite way to eat this is cold, spread on homemade naan or carrot sticks.
*Note: the raw garlic is very potent and for serious garlic-lovers only. If you’re after something more tame, use one small clove raw, or cook your garlic before using.