• 1 pound eggplant
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground white pepper or cayenne to taste
  • 6 to 8 pita breads or smaller leaves from 2 romaine hearts (for both this and the Hummus)
  1. Puncture the eggplant skin in a few places and roast in a shallow pan with the onion in a 400˚F oven until the eggplant is thoroughly soft. Remove and set aside until cool enough to handle. (This can be done a day or two ahead and refrigerated.)
  2. Split the eggplant lengthwise and carefully scrape all the flesh away from the skin. Discard the skin and chop the flesh finely. Split the onion, discard the skin and any burnt parts, and chop finely.
  3. Combine the oil and garlic in a large skillet and heat until fragrant. Add the chopped onion and cook 2 minutes, adjusting the heat so the garlic does not brown. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the tahini, lemon juice, and eggplant and season to taste with salt and white pepper. If you want a smoother texture, transfer the mixture to a food processor and process to a chunky purée.
  4. Serve at room temperature with pita wedges or romaine leaves.

Makes 8 appetizers

Good to know

Even people who don’t like eggplant seem to go for this smooth, rich-tasting eggplant purée, as a dip for pita wedges or inner leaves of romaine.

Which beer should I drink with this?

Sudwerk Pilsner, Full Sail Amber Ale


A Levantine Dinner for Eight 

This menu combines some of the favorite dishes of the lands of the eastern end of the Mediterranean. While religion prevents many residents of the region from drinking beer, their cuisines still provide us with lots of beer-friendly foods; not surprising, since this is where humans first cultivated grains thousands of years ago, and first converted them into something we would recognize as beer.

Go back to The Microbrew Lover's Cookbook index page.

The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook 

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From The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook, Copyright © 2002 by Jay Harlow. Used by arrangement with Jay Harlow.


Photo: ZUMA Press