An eggplant spread that's not baba ghanoush

A bright, boldly flavored eggplant dip that's perfect for the summer

Published July 7, 2010 1:01AM (EDT)

Baba ghanoush is fine, but with all that tahini, it sometimes feels a bit heavy. So today I set out to create a spread that was light and fresh, using herbs from my garden. Grilling eggplant and cherry tomatoes gives this a lovely smoky flavor, while the yogurt adds a subtle tang. You can certainly vary the herbs here based on what's available, but I think parsley and basil are essential.

This is wonderful served on garlic crostini. Simply slice a baguette, brush with olive oil and bake for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Rub each slice with a halved garlic clove while still hot.

Grilled eggplant spread with fresh herbs


  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice or red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsely
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus additional leaves for garnish


  1. Light a fire in your grill. Toss the cherry tomatoes with a teaspoon of olive oil and grill in a grill basket over hot coals until lightly charred, about 5 minutes. Set aside. At the same time, grill the whole eggplant until collapsed and blackened, about 20 minutes. Set the eggplant on a plate to cool. Discard any liquid on the plate, then scoop out flesh and place in a food processor. Add half the cherry tomatoes, garlic, oil, yogurt, salt and lemon juice or vinegar. Process briefly, leaving a bit of texture. Adjust salt and lemon juice to taste. Remove to a bowl and stir in fresh herbs. Spread on bread or crostini, and garnish with the remaining cherry tomatoes, chopped, along with fresh basil leaves.

By Cathy Elton

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