Bold Baba Ghanouj

This super-spicy version of baba ghanouj, a beloved Middle-Eastern dip, is a taste bud pleaser! The eggplant really absorbs the hot flavors of all the spices and serves as delicious base for a dip. This spread is a perfect accompaniment to fresh cut vegetables or as a side dipping sauce to your favorite main course. Double this batch and bring it as an appetizer to your next dinner party!

Yields 1–11⁄2 cups

• 1 large eggplant, peeled and chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, peeled
• 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 1⁄4 cup tahini
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1⁄2 teaspoon paprika
• 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin
• Chopped parsley, for garnish

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat the eggplant chunks and garlic with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally, until browned and soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
2. Add eggplant, garlic, and all other ingredients (except for the remaining olive oil) to a food processor. Blend and slowly incorporate olive oil until a smooth consistency is reached.
3. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Top with freshly cut parsley. Perfect with the Cracked Pepper Crackers.