Michael Chiarello takes advantage of every hot coal by cooking whole eggplants and onions directly on the embers while grilling fruit and other vegetables on the grate. The eggplant and onions become this smoky dip.
Slideshow:Incredible Party Dips
3 1/2 pounds eggplants (about 4 medium eggplants), pierced all over
2 medium onions, unpeeled
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
Grilled country bread, for serving
How to Make It
Light a hardwood charcoal fire. When the coals are hot, create a bed of embers and set the eggplants and onions directly on it. Cook, turning occasionally, until the eggplants and onions are tender but not falling apart, about 15 minutes for the eggplants and 25 minutes for the onions. Transfer the vegetables to a baking sheet to cool, brushing off any embers.
Meanwhile, in a medium cast-iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the pine nuts and toast over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the rosemary and thyme to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant and just crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer the herbs to another plate and let cool. Coarsely chop the herbs.
Slit open each eggplant and scoop the flesh into a food processor; discard the skins. Peel and quarter the onions and add to the processor; discard the skins. Add the pine nuts to the processor and puree until smooth.
Wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in it. Add the baba ghanoush and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until thickened, 6 minutes. Scrape into a serving bowl and let cool slightly. Stir in the garlic, lemon juice and chopped herbs; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and serve warm with grilled country bread.
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