An eggplant recipe with simple ingredients and delectable results…..even for the eggplant hater. It is an added bonus that this recipe is safe for anyone following an keto, Paleo, or Whole 30 diet plan…..or NO diet plan. That’s a whole lot of flavor and whole lot of flexibility!!
This recipe was shared with me by my dear friends and neighbors visiting for a temporary assignment from Isreal. According to them, this recipe is widely available all over Israel in all sorts of forms. Sometimes you get lucky when the rental next door gets picked up by some of the coolest people you’ve met, and this time we did!!
I have always loved experimenting with world cuisines, and Israel’s food is not familiar to me. I am eager to check out two top rated cookbooks featuring Israel’s cuisine: Jerusalem, and Zahav. I can bet my local library has them! It’s another food culture to explore and introduce my kiddos to!!
The eggplant is super popular in Israeli cuisine. I have never been a huge fan of it until I began experimenting again in recent history. And when my neighbor started sharing traditional dishes with me…I was hooked!!
In this recipe, the eggplant is prepared ‘burnt’ or ‘charred’style for a stellar, smoky flavor. While an open flame on a grill is the best option, your broiler or a gas stove burner will also work in a pinch (same technique as the grill). You really char the outside…to the point that any other vegetable wouldn’t even be edible….but eggplant is flexible like that…it really takes a beating….and this is how we get the classic smoke flavor! The cooled skin should peel away easily, and the interior flesh should be ultra soft and ready for mashing, almost like pudding.
For eating, this makes a great dip with usual offenders (chips, almond crackers, raw vegetables, bread, pita)…but it also a great spread. You can also eat it plain…it is THAT good!! Whatever you do…make this! It is so darn easy and delicious!
- 2 large eggplants
- 3-6 tablespoons mayonnaise (homemade preferred, and SO easy to make on your own!)
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- Sea salt to taste
- Preheat a grill to high heat.
- Place whole eggplant on grill, close lid and let char for 3-4 minutes, then turn and rotate until evenly charred on all sides. Turn off one side of the grill, and place charred eggplant off the flames. With thte lid closed, continue to cook for an additional 10-15 minutes until the eggplant feels soft and ultra squishy to the touch. Alternately, if you do not have a grill, you can roast the eggplant in your oven, but you will lose that lovely smoky flavor. 400 degrees, for 45-60 minutes until soft and collapsing on itself.
- Set aside and let cool enough to handle, and cut in half.
- Scrape the flesh into a sieve to drain, the flesh should pull away easily,
- Let drain for an hour or so to lose the excess water. If you want to speed the process, I bet a nutmilk bag would do the trick, or some layered cheesecloth wrapped up and gently squeezed.
- In a bowl, mix the eggplant, mayo, garlic and sea salt to taste. The eggplant should be so soft, that it mashes easily as you mix the ingredients, almost like pudding. Taste and adjust seasonings as you wish.
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