This Middle Eastern purée is usually garnished with pomegranate seeds, chopped fresh mint, or minced pistachios. Use it as a spread or dip for pita bread or Middle Eastern flat bread.
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
¼ cup tahini
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
¼ teaspoon ground cumin seed
Dash of salt, or to taste
Put the eggplant into a large microwave-proof dish; add about ¼ cup water. Cover and microwave on high until softened, about 7 minutes; drain well. (Or cook the eggplant in a stovetop steamer.)
Process the cooked eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic into a food processor until smooth. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Serve warm or chill.
This mixture will keep for up to 3 days in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator.