Lime, cilantro, and chili paste impart a Thai sizzle to the natural richness of roasted eggplant. Enjoy this as a dip for thick strips of cucumber, green sweet pepper, carrots, or blanched broccoli, asparagus, or green beans. Or serve as a spread for crackers for toasted bread. From Real Vegetarian Thai by Nancie McDermott.
- 1 large eggplant (about 1 1/4 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon palm sugar or 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons asian roasted chili paste or 2 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice or 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- cilantro leaf (to garnish)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, stem and all, and place on baking sheet, cut side down. Bake until soft, about 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
- Scoop out the flesh and transfer it to a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the sugar soy sauce, salt, chili paste, and lime or lemon juice. Using on-off pulses, process to a thick, coarse puree, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed to grind evenly.
- Transfer to a bowl and stir in the chopped cilantro and green onions. Serve at room temp, garnished with cilantro leaves.