Charred Eggplant and Tahini Spread (gf)

This spread, similar to baba ganoush, works as part of a meze or as a flavourful sandwich spread. If you can roast the eggplant over fire it will taste even better, as roasting over fire makes everything taste better. For a variation, add a couple of roasted (peeled and seeded) red peppers to the mix.

1 large eggplant
¼ c extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely grated
1 t finely grated lemon zest
squeeze fresh lemon juice
1 T tahini (sesame seed paste)
salt and fresh-cracked black pepper
¾ t ground cumin
toasted sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 475°F. Place eggplant on a baking sheet or roast in the barbecue until charred and very tender, about 20- 25 minutes in the oven.

Let cool until the eggplant can be handled. Remove seeds, then chop eggplant skin and all until a chunky paste. Mix all ingredients in a bowl with the eggplant paste. Check for seasoning.

Let sit for a few hours to marry flavours. Before serving, drizzle with more oil and top with sesame seeds.

Serve with pita bread.