Yogurt and Eggplant Dip

INGREDIENTS:

2 large or 3 small seedless eggplants
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup yogurt, drained in cheesecloth for 3 hours
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint, or 1 teaspoon dried mint
1/4 teaspoon saffron dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Loaf of crusty bread, cut into pieces

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Wash eggplant and prick in several places with a fork to prevent bursting. Place whole eggplants on oven rack and bake for 1 hour. Be sure to put a tray under the eggplant to catch drips. Remove eggplant from oven, let cool, then peel and mash.

Heat oil in a non-stick skillet and cook the onion and garlic until golden. Add the eggplant and mix well. Cover and cook for five minutes over low heat. Add salt and pepper. Remove from heat and let cool.

Mix eggplant mixture with yogurt. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with fresh mint, saffron water, and walnuts. Place serving bowl on a platter and arrange cut up bread pieces around bowl.

SOURCE: Submitted by Ozzie Parnianfar of Ozzie’s Orchids and Dahlias

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