A very quick marinade and just a few minutes on the grill turn eggplant into the perfect base for this must-make spread from chef Jimmy Bannos, Jr.: It’s smoky, deeply flavorful and wonderfully fresh-tasting, thanks to all the chopped herbs.
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3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup coarsely chopped basil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Crackers, for serving
How to Make It
In a large bowl, whisk 1/2 cup of the olive oil with the vinegar, parsley, basil, cilantro and two-thirds of the garlic. Add the eggplant slices and coat well. Marinate for 15 minutes.
Light a grill. Grill the eggplant over moderate heat, turning and basting occasionally with the marinade, until nicely charred and tender, about 10 minutes. Chop the eggplant.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining garlic with the mayonnaise and lemon juice. Gradually whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Fold in the chopped eggplant and season with salt and pepper. Serve with crackers.
The spread can be refrigerated overnight.
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