Baba Ghanoush (Middle Eastern eggplant salad)

I'm a fairly recent eggplant convert. I never really cared for them until I tasted zaalouk at a restaurant. And with eggplants showing up occasionally in my veggie box, I hesitantly branched out to this pasta recipe.

On a recent trip to Egypt, I had a sinfully good Baba Ghanoush at a local restaurant (If you're in Cairo, go to Felfela and have the Taamia (falafel), Baba Ghanoush, fried eggplant and their flat bread for a great mezze!)
So when I got back, I made it my mission to replicate it. I think this recipe comes fairly close.

What you need (3 servings):
1 large eggplant
2 tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
juice of half a lemon
1 garlic clove, minced (or 1 tsp garlic paste)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried parsley (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil, to serve

Preheat the oven at 225C. Prick holes in the eggplant with a fork, place the eggplant in an oven dish and bake for approx. 40 mins. until the skin is completely shriveled and the eggplant is very soft.
Let cool slightly and peel the eggplant. Cut it in pieces and mash with a fork. Add the tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, dried parsley and cumin, and mix into a smooth (-ish) paste. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature with a drizzle of olive oil.
Delicious with pita, lavash or Egyptian flatbread (aish baladi) for dipping.

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