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Roasted Eggplant Dip with Yogurt & Roasted Nuts
Pepe Laflamme, Director, NuForm Fitness

8 lrg local eggplants
3 Tbs calamansi juice
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup drained* plain yogurt/soy yogurt
3 Tbs chopped cilantro
2 boonie peppers, finely minced

1/4 cup roasted pecans, chopped
3 Tbs chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1-2 Tbs calamansi juice to taste, if needed

Grill the eggplants; turning frequently, until charred all over and very soft, about 15-20 minutes. Place in colander or perforated drainer tray. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Carefully remove skin, discard seeds, and put the eggplant pulp in a strainer to release more of the bitter juices.

Coarsely puree or finely chop the eggplant. Toss with juice and set aside.
Warm the oil over low heat in a small saute pan. Add the garlic and cook a minute or two. Add the eggplant pulp, stir in the yogurt, cilantro and peppers and then season with salt and pepper. Place in a serving bowl. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and parsley. Serve at room temperature with warm whole wheat pita bread (make pita chips by brushing lightly with olive oil, grilling quickly and breaking into chips) or whole grain crackers.

Yield: 8-12 Appetizer servings

*To drain yogurt, place in a cheesecloth-lined sieve set over a bowl and let drain for 3 to 4 hours in the refrigerator.

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