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Abou Ganouje (Spicy Eggplant Salad)

Abou Ganouje is a traditional Turkish salad similar to ratatouille, with a chunky mixture of eggplant, green peppers, tomatoes, and onions. Compared to the tamely spiced ratatouille, however, abou ganouje is exuberantly seasoned with warm cumin and fiery chili powder. Allow this salad to rest for about an hour before serving to help blend flavors. (It's even better the next day.) Serve with warm pita bread.

Yield: 6 Servings

2 Eggplants, medium-sized, halved lengthwise
1 Green bell pepper, small dice
3 Tomatoes, small dice
1 Onion, small dice
1 1/2 teaspoon Lemon juice
2 teaspoons Garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Chili powder
1 teaspoon Cumin, ground
1 tablespoon Parsley, fresh, chopped
to taste Sea salt
3 tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Place eggplants in a sheet pan and cook until they are soft (about 20 minutes). Reserve and cool.

Cut eggplants in half and scoop out the pulp. Chop in small pieces and combine with bell pepper, tomatoes, and onions. Combine lemon juice, garlic, chili, cumin, parsley, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.

Pour dressing over vegetables and toss well. Garnish with additional chopped parsley.

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