microwave baba ghanoush

Serve this dip at room temperature.

1 globe eggplant (about 1½ pounds)
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and more for drizzling
Salt to taste
1/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (optional)
Toasted pita bread wedges

Pierce the eggplant in a few places. Place on a microwave-safe plate, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 4 minutes. Turn the eggplant over and microwave for 4 minutes longer. If the eggplant is not yet very soft all over, cook for another minute or two per side.

Purée the garlic in a food processor.

Scrape out the softened flesh of the eggplant with a spoon. If you see any large pockets of seeds, remove them, as they can be bitter. Add the eggplant to the food processor, along with the tahini, lemon juice and olive oil. Purée until completely combined. Season with salt and pulse a few more times.

If the baba ghanoush has an unpleasant bitter edge, add the yogurt. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with pita wedges.

Serves 6.

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By Tara Duggan, staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle August 20, 2003