Smoky Eggplant Spread

3 large eggplants
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced or 3 teaspoons prepared minced garlic
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, shredded
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the eggplant, either in the oven or microwave or grill. Cut away the stem of the eggplant and discard. Pulse the eggplant pulp in a food processor adding oil, parsley, lemon juice and garlic. When the mixture is sufficiently chopped, add basil and pine nuts and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Microwave:
Prick unpeeled eggplants all over and place on several thicknesses of absorbant paper. Cook uncovered, on HIGH for about 20 minutes (for 1-1.5kg.) When the eggplant is cooked, it will be quite deflated. Tear open with a fork and allow steam to escape.

Oven:
Place unpeeled eggplants on an ungreased baking sheet and bake until soft and split - about 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven, and tear open allowing the flesh to sizzle on the baking sheet.

Barbecue:
Prick the eggplants all over and place on a barbecue away from the main heat source. Turn regularly until the eggplant has shrivelled and has a rich, roasted aroma, about 20 minutes.



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