I like this recipe because it can be made ahead and then thrown into the oven when guests arrive. It's so easy, so that's also a plus!
EGGPLANT AND GARLIC SLATHER
1 large eggplant or several small Japanese eggplants, totaling about 1 1/2 pounds
2 whole heads garlic
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chopped basil
3 Tablespoons non-fat plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Toasted French bread slices for serving
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Cut a few slits in the eggplant and rub with oil. Place in a small roasting pan/baking sheet.
- Drizzle about 1 tsp olive oil over the garlic cloves and wrap them in foil. Place the foil packet in the roasting pan with the eggplant.
- Roast for at least an hour, until the eggplant wrinkles and starts to collapse. Remove from oven and let cool for about 30 minutes (or until cool enough to work with).
- Cut eggplant in half and scrape the pulp into the bowl of a food processor. Squeeze garlic cloves from their skins into the food processor. Add vinegar, yogurt, basil, salt and pepper. Process until almost smooth.
- Spray a small, shallow baking dish with cooking spray.
- Pour half of the eggplant mixture into the baking dish. Top with half of the Parmesan cheese.
- Pour the remaining eggplant mixture over the Parmesan cheese. (Slather can be made to this point a day ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.)
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 400.
- Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese over the top of the slather.
- Bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes or until bubbly.
- Serve immediately with crunchy, toasted bread.
- I used my favorite yogurt, Greek yogurt for this. It's thicker and creamier than the cheap store brand stuff.
- This is weird, but I do not like basil. I substituted with fresh parsley.
- I would love to add roasted red pepper to this.
- Perhaps instead of yogurt, you could use goat cheese, cream cheese, or creme fraiche?
- To go more Mediterranean, maybe you could try mint or oregano instead of basil and add in some feta. The possibilities are endless!