In Israel, there's a Baba Ganoush recipe for every taste. For me, the marriage of creamy mayonnaise with the smoky eggplant is pure comfort-food, equally great as a dip or as a sandwich spread.
This eggplant dip is as healthy as it is flavorful. Imagine a smoky spread that is as at once creamy and light, tangy and sweet and as good with warm wedges of pita bread as it is with crunchy crudités.
I like my eggplant smoky, but if the flavor is too strong, you can broil or bake the eggplant on a baking sheet in a 425 degrees F oven for about 45 minutes to an hour and then continue according to my recipe directions. Draining well the eggplants is very important, it not only allows you to remove the bitter juices from the flesh, but also control the texture.
Line stovetop with aluminum foil or burner covers. Turn a burner to high heat and place eggplant directly over burner grate, turning occasionally with tongs until all sides are charred and eggplant is soft, about 5 minutes per side or 15-20 minutes total. When the eggplants are chard, remove to a baking sheet and let cool completely; then remove skin, place in a colander and drain juices as much as you can. I even keep them under a press for some time.
While the eggplants are grilling, heat oil in a small pan on medium-low, place the 3 unpeeled garlic cloves and roast them until the skin just starts to brown lightly and the cloves are soft; remove and place on a piece of paper towel to cool.
Then in the same pan, toast cumin and coriander seeds, stirring with a wooden spoon until fragrant, about 2 to 4 minutes. Cool and then grind in a spice grinder or in mortar and pestle.
Place eggplant pulp in the bowl of a food processor. Add roasted and raw garlic, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, pepper and the ground cumin and coriander; process to desired consistency, pulsing about 20 times for chunkier consistency or blending 15 seconds for smoother results.
Mix in the thyme leaves; taste and add some more lemon juice and salt, if needed. Transfer to a serving plate, garnish with thyme, and serve with wedges of pita bread. Bon Appetite!