Friday, August 29, 2008

The Eggplant Dilema

As many of you know, I'm a little new at gardening. This year we decided to go big and stay home, so we have quite the load a produce. Most of it we can eat right up, but I have one vegetable in particular that has been giving me a little trouble: Eggplant. I picked, literally, 19 the other day and had no idea what to do with them. I asked around and got some great recipe ideas that I'm eager to try out. I'll try to keep everyone posted with my reviews of the recipes that I'm able to try so that someday, when you have too much eggplant, you'll have a little direction.

My first try: Roasted Eggplant Dip.
This was really good and disappeared quickly. It uses a lot of garlic but is so worth it. I didn't have any mint so we just did without and it still was great.

1 large head garlic1 eggplant (1-1 1/4 pounds), cut in half lengthwise
1 small onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 ripe tomato, cored, sliced in half and seeded
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste


1. Set oven racks at the two lowest levels; preheat to 450°F. Peel as
much of the papery skin from the garlic as possible and wrap loosely in foil.
Bake until the garlic is soft, 30 minutes. Let cool slightly.2. Meanwhile, coat
a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place eggplant halves on the prepared baking
sheet, cut-side down. Roast for 10 minutes. Add onion slices and tomato halves
to the baking sheet and roast until all the vegetables are soft, 10 to 15
minutes longer. Let cool slightly.3. Separate the garlic cloves and squeeze the
soft pulp into a medium bowl. Mash with the back of a spoon. Slip skins from the
eggplant and tomatoes; coarsely chop. Finely chop the onion. Add the chopped
vegetables to the garlic pulp and stir in the lemon juice, mint, oil, salt and
pepper.

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