eggplant caviar

1 large eggplant, (about 2 pounds) cut in half lengthwise
Salt and black pepper
1 whole head of garlic, unpeeled
1 large sprig of fresh rosemary
16 sun-dried tomatoes (dry, not packed in oil)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried oregano

Roasting the eggplant along with the garlic and rosemary not only intensifies the flavor but simplifies the cooking as well. Feel free to add other herbs to the pan.

Preheat oven to 400 and lightly coat a baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and pepper and place, cut side down, in the pan. Spray the garlic lightly with the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place in the pan along with the rosemary. Cover with foil and bake 1 hour until the garlic and eggplant are very tender. Uncover and allow to cool at room temperature.

Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl and pour in just enough boiling water to cover. Let stand 5 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid, and coarsely chop the tomatoes.

When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, scrape out the pulp and place in food processor. Cut off the top of the garlic using a serrated knife and squeeze out the pulp. Add to the food processor along with the sun dried tomatoes, lemon juice, oregano, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Process until pureed. Add a small amount of tomato soaking liquid to reach the desired consistency. Transfer to bowl and chill. This dip is best if allowed to chill overnight, as the flavors become stronger and more balanced with time. Season with additional salt, pepper and lemon juice if desired. Makes 2-1/2 cups (20 servings). Per serving: 34 calories (7% from fat)

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