Babanoush is like hummus, only lighter-textured and slightly smoky.  It makes a tasty dip as well as a topping for sandwiches.  Best of all, it is super-easy to make.

Preheat the oven to 350 or the grill to medium low.

Bake or grill one pound of eggplant(s) whole.  Grilling is preferable, especially if you want the smoky flavor.  If you’re grilling, turn the eggplant 2-3 times so that the skin gets well-browned but doesn’t burn.

You want the eggplants to be completely soft.  This should take about 20-40 minutes, with larger ones taking much longer.  Remove from heat and allow to cool, or put in the fridge overnight.

Cut the stem and cap off the eggplant but leave the skin on.   Cut into small enough pieces to stuff them into a food processor.  Add the juice of 1 lemon and 1 small minced or pressed clove of garlic.  Puree briefy.

Add 1/2 C. tahini along with 1/2 T. salt.  Puree again, until they tahini is completely blended into the eggplant.  This might take a minute or three.

Once the tahini is incorporated, leave the processor running and slowly drizzle 3 T. olive oil into the mixture (your food processor should have a removable part that allows you to do this without it shutting off).  The babaganoush will become light and fluffy before your eyes.

Turn the processor off and taste the dip.  Add salt, lemon juice or more olive oil to taste and puree again for long enough to combine.  Unless you like it really garlicky, don’t add more garlic, as the flavor will become stronger over time.