My friend brought this mezze over for Shabbat dinner (Friday night). Her Kurdish-Iraqi grandmother used to make it. It’s teenager friendly. My 13 year-old son, who’s an adventurous eater but eggplant hater, loved it. You can serve with other mezzes such as turnip hummus, roasted sweet potatoes and carrot & harissa salad, and gluten-free bread or pitas for a mini Middle Eastern feast.
- When you buy eggplants, make sure that their skin is glossy and that they feel light in your hand.
- If you don’t like smoky flavors (you’re nuts), you can bake the eggplant in the oven at 400°F (200°C) for 30 minutes, which, I hate to say it, easier and less messy.
- You can burn the eggplants directly on a gas or electric range. Same result.
Smoky Eggplant & Tomato Mezze
- 1 large eggplant or 2 medium
- 1 large tomato or 2 medium
- 1-2 small garlic cloves
- 1 lemon
- Olive oil
- Rinse the eggplant and dry. Put it over the burner on high heat and burn until the skin is black. Rotate and flip until it is burnt all over. The skin should be black and flaky. Remove from the heat and place in a colander, with a plate under it (it will release liquids), until the eggplant cools down.
- Put the eggplant on a cutting board and cut it lengthwise. Using a soup spoon, gently, scrape the meat and put it back in the colander. It's okay to have small black spots but try to get rid of most of it. Dip your fingers in water, it makes it easier to remove the leftovers burnt skin.
- Squeeze half of the lemon over and let it drain for 5-10 minutes, don't skip this part, the liquid is bitter. Put the eggplant meat back on the cutting board and chop it. It should be very tender. Put it in a bowl.
- Squeeze the other lemon half on the eggplant. Grate the tomato or blend it in a blender, and add to the eggplant. Crush the garlic clove straight in. Sprinkle salt and mix. Drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle sumac. Taste and add salt or lemon juice if necessary. It should be tangy. Serve or store in the fridge for up to a week.