Eggplant Dip with Yogurt and Garlic (Yogurtlu Patlican Ezmesi)
The english word for yogurt originates from the Turkish, yogurt (pronounced with a silent “g”). Yogurt is used in so many ways in Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cooking. Not the overly sweet fruity non-fat slightly gelatinous versions that I consumed in college as a “healthy snack,” but traditional full-fat creamy yogurt, which is actually much more healthful! In recent years, I’ve been thrilled that this kind of yogurt has made a come-back in the United States. Hooray! Use this kind of yogurt in the recipe below.
- 2-3 large eggplants
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves garlic (or to taste)
- 1/2 cup plain creamy yogurt
- 1 tsp salt, to taste
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- red pepper flakes, mint, and olive oil to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.
- Wash the eggplant, poke a few times with a fork to let steam out, and place on a baking dish. Bake for about 1 hour, until the outside looks crisp and darkened.
- When the eggplant is done, remove from the oven and allow to cool. When cool, peel and discard the outside. With your hands, squeeze the flesh to remove any excess liquid that the eggplant may secreted, then mash. I do this simply with the back of a fork. I like my dip a little on the chunky side. If you prefer, you can use a food processor for a smoother consistency.
- Sauté the onions and garlic in olive oil until golden, then add the onion mixture to the mashed eggplant.
- Add the yogurt, salt, and pepper, and mix well. Garnish with mint, red pepper flakes, and olive oil. Serve with toasted pita bread.