This Middle Eastern-inspired grilled eggplant dip (moutabal) gets an infusion of umami flavour courtesy of mushroom powder. Powdered lion’s mane, reishi, and cordyceps are good options. Use ripped pieces of pita as your serving utensil for scooping up this potpourri of textures.
To remove seeds from a pomegranate without turning your kitchen into a horror show, quarter the fruit and then submerge in a bowl of water. Break seeds free under the water and then drain.
3/4 cup (180 mL) French green or black (beluga) lentils, rinsed and drained
2 medium globe eggplants
1/3 cup (80 mL) tahini
2 Tbsp (30 mL) mushroom powder
2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) chopped parsley
1/2 cup (125 mL) sliced mint
1 cup (250 mL) pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup (60 mL) shelled pistachios
1 Tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
4 Middle Eastern-style pitas
In saucepan, place lentils and 3 cups (750 mL) water; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain well.
Heat gas grill to medium-high. Place eggplants on grill grates and heat, turning occasionally with tongs, until skins are completely charred and flesh collapses, about 12 to 15 minutes. (Alternatively, you can broil eggplants in the oven, turning occasionally, until charred and tender.) Let cool for 15 minutes.
Remove skins from eggplants and transfer flesh to sieve set over a bowl and let drain for 10 minutes. Transfer drained eggplant flesh to food processor; add tahini, mushroom powder, lemon juice, garlic, and oil, and process until creamy.
Transfer dip to large shallow bowl or plate (or divide between 2 serving platters) and top with lentils, parsley, mint, pomegranate seeds, and pistachios; drizzle with balsamic vinegar and more oil. Serve with pitas.
Each serving contains: 632 calories; 26 g protein; 27 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 82 g total carbohydrates (13 g sugars, 28 g fibre); 441 mg sodium