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Make this Dip to Complete Your Springtime Table

Frank Guerriero

May 07, 2019

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Photo: Kristin Perers

Cookbook author and culinary educator Anissa Helou knows that a cuisine is the clearest window into the soul of a people. That’s what inspired her 500-page tome, Feast: Food of the Islamic World, which picked up our international cookbook award at the 2019 JBF Media Awards. The book is a sweeping journey through the essential dishes of locales from Xinjiang to Zanzibar, including this decadent eggplant and yogurt spread from Iran.

Helou starts by broiling the bulbous veggies until their skin is charred and the interior is completely soft. She allows the flesh to drain, mashes it, and then sautés the eggplant with olive oil, garlic, and caramelized onion. Once the mixture has cooled, she stirs in labneh yogurt for some added silkiness and gentle tartness. Garnished with crushed walnuts and fragrant saffron water, it’s a seemingly indulgent but guilt-free addition to your appetizer spread. Get the recipe.

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Frank Guerriero is the media assistant at the Beard Foundation. Find him on Instagram.