Baba Ghanoush

1 large eggplant (1 1/4 pounds)
4 level tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp garlic, peeled and crushed with salt
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice or more to taste
3 to 4 tbsp cold water
1/2 tsp salt
Dash of freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
Garnish
hot Hungarian paprika
2 tbsp chopped parsley
Diced ripe tomatoes

Pierce the eggplant in several places with a toothpick. If you are cooking indoors. wrap the whole eggplant in aluminum foil and set it over a gas grill to cook on all sides until it collapses and begins to release a great deal of steam. If you are cooking over coals, grill the eggplant until blackened, collapsed, and cooked through. Dump the eggplant into a basin of cold water; peel while still hot and allow to drain in a colander until cool. Squeeze pulp to remove any bitter juices. Mash the eggplant to a puree.
In a food processor, mix the tahini with the garlic and lemon juice until the mixture contracts. Thin with the water. With the machine running, add the eggplant and the salt, pepper, and olive oil. Spread out in a shallow dish and garnish with pepper, parsley, and tomatoes.

Makes about 1 1/3 cups

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