Plan to make it the day you want to serve it. Pita bread to dip and for garnish, any of – black olives, tomato wedges, sambal oelek, olive oil – use your imagination.  Makes 2 cups.  

2 pounds eggplant poked with fork to prevent bursting
1 tblsp lemon juice – extra if needed – to taste
1 clove garlic, minced – extra if needed – to taste
2 tblsp tahini paste – use caution with this or it will overpower your dish
1 tsp sugar – start with slightly less, add more as you taste
salt/pepper to taste

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat as hot as it will get – I put mine of 500 degrees – not the broiler, just the oven.

2. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil, set eggplants on baking sheet and roast, turning every 15 minutes, until eggplants are uniformly soft when pressed with tongs – anywhere from 40 – 60 minutes – cool when done.

3. Trim the top and bottom off each eggplant. Slit in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop the warm pulp from the skin.  Place the pulp in a large strainer to remove excess liquid – about 5 minutes (it’s done when it stops dripping).  Discard the skins.

3. Transfer pulp to work bowl of food processor fitted with steel blade. Add lemon juice, garlic, tahini, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; process until mixture has coarse, choppy texture, about eight 1-second pulses. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper; transfer to serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap flush with surface of dip, and refrigerate 45 to 60 minutes. To serve, use spoon to make trough in center of dip and fill with the garnish of your choice – Serve and enjoy!

Other ideas to try:

1. Warm up whole pita, cut into wedges before serving  

2. Split pita in two, paint the insides with some olive oil and garlic (put olive oil and mashed garlic in a bowl and microwave for 30 to 45 seconds – you just want to infuse flavour not cook the garlic) – sprinkle the tops with a combination of paprika and grated parmesan cheese – bake at 350 for 10 to 15 minutes until crisp – note they go from perfect to burnt in seconds so keep an eye on it and remove before it gets crisp in the oven.  It will crisp on your counter top while cooling.  If not crispy enough, put it back in the warm oven, it just needs a bit more heat – that’s all.