3 Eggplants (3 lb total)
7 tbsp Oil, olive
3 Garlic cloves; minced
2 tsp Paprika, sweet
1 1/2 tsp Pepper, Cayenne or
1/8 tsp Harissa
Pepper; freshly ground
3 -to 4 tbsp Lemon juice, fresh
1 tbsp Parsley; chopped
3 Lemon wedges or
3 Tomato wedges
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut the stems off the eggplants. Using a vegetable
peeler or a sharp knife, peel the skin in 1/2 inch wide strips vertically
down each eggplant so you get a striped effect. Slice each eggplant
horizontally into 1/2 inch slices.
- Place in a colander and salt each slice. Let stand 30
minutes, then rinse well and pat dry with paper towels.
- Brush a baking sheet with 3 tablespoons of the oil.
Lightly brush the eggplant slices with 2 tablespoons oil and place in a
single layer on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until
the slices are light golden brown on both sides.
- Transfer the eggplant to a bowl and, using a fork or
potato masher, mash with the garlic, paprika, cumin, water and
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large
- Add the mashed eggplant and fry very slowly, turned
occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until the moisture evaporates. Stir
in the lemon juice and cook 1 minute longer. Taste, and season with salt and
pepper, if needed.
- Place the eggplant on a platter and garnish with
parsley and lemon or tomato wedges.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. This eggplant spread
has a jamlike consistency. It is made all over North Africa, but this
version, with garlic, cumin and lemon juice is one of the most flavorful.
Serve it with warm country-style bread or pita.