Eggplant Caviar Spread

Don't let this dish's lack of visual appeal fool you. It is so good, I can eat it all in one sitting!  This is a version of a Middle Eastern baba ghanoush, which is meant to be served as a spread with pita bread or a dip with raw veggies.  However, I prefer to eat it as a side, as it pairs well with almost any protein entree.

The garlic and onion in this dish can be left raw, but I prefer to lightly sauté these ingredients to tone down their strong flavor, making this dish more kid-friendly.  If you decide to leave them raw, I would cut down the garlic to 1 - 2 cloves.  This spread tastes best when made a day or two in advance.

As this dish calls for mayonnaise, I thought this a great opportunity to talk a new mayonnaise I recently discovered at my local Whole Foods Market.  Just Mayo is the best tasting, creamiest and smoothest mayonnaise I have tried so far.  More importantly, all of its ingredients are non-GMO.  The main ingredient, canola oil, is expeller-pressed, which means it is extracted without the use of chemicals solvents or high heat.  Those with food intolerances will be happy to learn that this product is free of gluten, soy, eggs, dairy and lactose.  The small amount of modified food starch in this product, I came to learn, is actually corn starch, and once again comes from non-GMO corn.  If you have any questions about this product, contact the company directly; they have great customer service.

1 medium eggplant
1 small onion, sliced thinly
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp tahini (optional)
¼ tsp ground cumin (optional)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Mayonnaise, to taste
Lemon juice, to taste
Sea salt/pepper, to taste
Fresh parsley, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 400 F.  
Place whole eggplant in a shallow baking sheet and roast until soft, about 30 - 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.  
Meanwhile sauté the onion in a tablespoon of coconut oil until transparent, add the garlic, stir and remove from heat.  
Peel the cooled eggplant and chop roughly.  Place in a food processor or blender, along with the onion and garlic (sautéed or raw), tahini, cumin, olive oil, lemon juice and mayonnaise.  Blend until desired texture.  
Season with additional lemon juice and/or mayonnaise, sea salt and pepper to taste.  
Transfer to a serving dish drizzle with olive oil and garnish with parsley.  
The dish can be refrigerated for up to five days prior to serving.