Posts Tagged ‘eggplant recipes’

We had this magnificent eggplant with a stem end that looked almost ceramic but it had been around a bit too long.  I threw it on the grill, whole, waiting to decide what to do.  Aha!  My old favorite babaganoosh – as I say and spell it.  However, this time, I also cleaned out the fridge and found a container with 3 grilled carrots, 2 grilled Italian peppers, and 1 lonely grilled onion which I thought might just work with the grilled eggplant.  And, you know what, it was the best mix we had ever tasted.  The grilled carrots added a sweetness that had never been present in other variations.  Following is my version of the traditional recipe, but just as I always do, you can add and subtract to make your own personalized mix.  Traditionally, the eggplant flesh is chopped, but I just throw the whole mess into the food processor and do a couple of quick turns to blend.

1 large or 2 small eggplant, either grilled or roasted
2 tablespoons tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon roasted garlic (don’t worry, if you don’t have, use fresh)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Cayenne pepper or smoked paprika to taste – this is not traditional, but either one adds a little pizzazz
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley and/or fresh mint

Scrape the flesh from the eggplant into a bowl, chopping it into small chunks.  Add all of the remaining ingredients and mash together.  Stir in the parsley or mint or both.  You can add more or less of the lemon juice, garlic, and/or olive oil to make it your own.  Serve with toasted pita bread or crackers.

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The other day Uncle Nick at my favorite neighborhood store, Zingone’s, insisted that I buy some beautiful baby eggplant that he was proudly showing off.  One of the other regulars started to give me a cooking lesson on making a quick eggplant dish when Nick interrupted “she’s a cook, quit tellin’ her want to do, she knows.”  Well, then, of course, I had to buy some of his prized produce.  Steve doesn’t much like eggplant so I always try to think of something zesty to do with them that he will, perhaps, find more enticing.  This time I grilled them, whole, on my stovetop grill pan, and then tossed them with some chopped Campari tomatoes and red onion added some minced garlic and hot chiles along with whatever herbs were wilting in the fridge – some basil, chives, and oregano.  Sprinkle on some evo and then a bit of sherry vinegar – topped the salad with a handful of grilled shrimp and we had a simple, but oh so satisfying dinner.

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