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Charred eggplant dip

(Karoline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe)
By Karoline Boehm Goodnick
Globe Correspondent / July 29, 2009

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Serves 6

The same way bell peppers char nicely on a grill, the skin on eggplant does, too; grilling makes the skin easy to remove. Don’t light a grill specially for this because you can also char the eggplant under a broiler or over a gas burner. This dip mixes the coarsely chopped flesh of the eggplant with garlic (try using a Microplane grater to chop the cloves), parsley, olive oil, vinegar, and crushed red pepper. If you do light the grill, place the eggplant over the hottest spot. Serve the spread at room temperature, accompanied by crackers, breadsticks, or a crusty loaf. It is also a good accompaniment for grilled meats or fish or spread on sandwich bread with a meaty filling.

2 large eggplants
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Light the grill or turn on the broiler. When the grill is hot, place the eggplant on the rack on the hottest spot and cook for 30 minutes or until tender. Or set the eggplant in a baking dish or cast iron skillet. Broil for 15 minutes, turning once, or until the eggplant is tender when pierced with a skewer.

2. Cool the eggplant for 10 minutes. Slice off stems and bottoms. With a small knife, scrape off charred skin.

3. Chop the eggplant pulp until it resembles a coarse puree. Transfer to a bowl.

4. Add the garlic, parsley, olive oil, vinegar, and crushed red pepper. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and black pepper.