2 large eggplants
2 to 4 garlic cloves,
peeled and minced
1/2 cup shelled wal-
nuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons red
Salt to taste
1/2 to 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 450. Puncture washed eggplant in several places with a fork and bake for about 25 minutes, until skin is blistered and shriveled.
2. Meanwhile, pulse gar- lic, walnuts and 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a food processor until pastelike.
3. Cut cooled eggplant lengthwise and, using a spoon, scoop out pulp and add it little by little to the food processor, discarding as many seeds as possible. Add lemon juice, vinegar, and remain- ing olive oil and pulse until well-combined (but not necessarily smooth).
4. Add salt and a bit of sugar, if bitter, to taste and serve with veggie sticks, crostini, crackers, or as a sandwich spread.