MMMMM----- Recipe via Meal-Master (tm) v8.02
  
       Title: YOGURT-HERB-EGGPLANT SPREAD
  Categories: Appetizers, Dips, Madison
       Yield: 6 servings
  
     1/2 c  Plain yogurt
       1    Garlic clove; minced
       1 ts Finely chopped oregano; -OR-
     1/4 ts -Dried oregano
     1/2 ts Chopped thyme leaves; -=OR=-
       1 pn -Dried Thyme
            Freshly ground pepper
 
 MMMMM------------------------THE EGGPLANT-----------------------------
     1/2 lb Japanese eggplants; -=OR=-
       1 md -Firm shiny eggplant
       1 lg Garlic clove; thinly sliced
       1    Bay leaf
            Thyme branches, if available
       1 tb Extra-virgin olive oil
            - or more to taste
            Lemon juice
            -=OR=- Red Wine Vinegar
            Salt
            Coarsely ground pepper
            Fresh herbs for garnish
  
   PREHEAT OVER TO 400F. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl and
   set aside. Cut 5-or-6 long slits in the eggplant (fewer if you're
   using Japanese eggplants) and place a slice of garlic into each slit.
   Wrap the eggplant, together with the bay leaf and thyme branches,
   tightly in foil and bake until completely soft all over--45
   minutes-to-1 1/2 hours, depending on the size of the eggplant. If
   you're using the large eggplant, turn it over after 45 minutes and
   continue baking until soft to the touch and tender at the stem end.
   When done, remove eggplant from the oven, open the package and let
   sit for 5 minutes or so. Discard any liquid. When the eggplant is
   cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh away from the skin, put it
   into a food processor and add the yogurt mixture and the olive oil.
   Process until smooth, but leave a little texture. Stir in the lemon
   juice or vinegar to taste and season with salt. Turn the puree into a
   serving bowl and season with pepper and fresh herbs, such as thyme
   leaves and blossoms, marjoram or oregano. If those herbs aren't
   available, use some chopped parsley or scallions. Serve the spread at
   room temperature with crackers, pita bread or bread toasted and
   brushed with olive oil.
   
   DEBORAH MADISON - PRODIGY GUEST CHEFS COOKBOOK
  
 MMMMM