1. Place whole, unpeeled eggplant on a baking sheet and cook in a moderate oven for 30-50 minutes, depending on size, until soft to the touch. While hot remove skin and chop flesh roughly. Drain off excess moisture.
2. Have garlic clove crushed with 1/2 tsp salt in a mortar. Gradually add warm eggplant to mortar alternately with crumbs.
3. Add lemon juice and olive oil alternately, working mixture thoroughly with pestle. Mix in onion, parsley, additional salt to taste, and pepper.
4. Place in a bowl and chill well. Mixture thickens when thoroughly chilled.
5. Garnish with black olives and serve with crackers, toast fingers or crusty bread.
To make in blender or food processor: Place all ingredients except oil in blender or food processor. Process until smooth and gradually add olive oil, this makes a smoother puree.
Variation: Peel and chop 1 large, ripe tomato and add to mixture with eggplant.
Note: Eggplant discolous quickly once exposed to air, so mixing quickly with other ingredients is important.
Tip: Makes 2 cups