Melitzanosalata (version IV)
2 whole medium eggplants, washed (equals approximately 3 cups cooked)
Preheat a standard gas grill to medium heat (you may also broil the eggplant). Pierce eggplant with a fork and place on grill, turning frequently to prevent burning. Cook until the skin becomes black and the eggplant is soft, 10-15 minutes. Transfer eggplant to a wire rack and cool over a baking sheet, to catch any juices.
1/2 cup canned whole tomatoes, chopped, juices strained
3/4 cup white onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and very finely chopped
1/4 cup Mediterranean style yogurt (available in most specialty food stores)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-3 tablespoons seltzer water
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, washed and dried
1 teaspoon dried oregano
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Once the eggplant is cooled, peel the skin and coarsely chop. Discard the juices.
Place the paddle attachment on a standing mixer. Add the eggplant, tomato, onion and garlic, and mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Stop the machine and add the yogurt. Mix for 1 more minute.
With mixer on medium speed, slowly add the vinegar and lemon juice. Slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream. Add seltzer water as needed to reach desired consistency; slightly thick, but light and relatively loose.
Add parsley, oregano and salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate overnight and serve.
To prepare the yogurt:
Note: you'll need 1/2 cup yogurt to make 1/4 cup strained for this recipe. Line a strainer with cheese cloth and set over a bowl (the bowl should support the strainer so it does not touch the bottom). Put the yogurt in the strainer and let it drain overnight. Discard the liquid and use the strained yogurt as directed.
Yield: 4 cups
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