Funny thing, eggplant...just when you're convinced you hate it with a passion, you find a way to like it. Kind of like in the 90's when you had your Nintendo 64 hooked up, it froze and you mentally told it you were TOTALLY turning it off if it didn't fix itself right then. And it always did. Just like eggplant and my palate.
I've been a vehement eggplant hater for years. An unfortunate affliction when your CSA graciously bestows upon thee many an eggplant. It wasn't even the texture (spongy) that bothered me. It was the taste! Therefore a typical baba ghanoush solution that I give to most eggplant haters just didn't apply. Also...I tend to dislike tahini (an ingredient in the spread) so that didn't give it a good start either. But then I stumbled across to the start of this recipe. It salted the eggplant which is a great way to pull out some of the bitter compounds in eggplant that usually bother me. Brilliant. And this was an herbal kind of "Sunday-roasting-a-chicken" feel spread. I automatically liked where it was headed. So with a few tweaks, I can't believe it, but I'm reborn an eggplant liker. Not lover. We aren't on that level just yet.
Eggplant Hater Roasted Eggplant Dip
Adapted from Gale Gand's Lunch! Roasted Eggplant Spread
Makes 1.5 Cups
/// Ingredients ///
- 1 large, purple eggplant
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 small white onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- fresh lemon thyme
- fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 fresh lemon
- salt and pepper
/// Directions /// Cut eggplant in half, making deep cross hatches on the open side. Sprinkle with salt, opening the cross hatching to make sure salt falls in. Wait twenty minutes, squeeze juice into sink.
Put herbs onion and garlic on parchment paper on a pan. Drizzle olive oil on the parchment and the cut side of the eggplant. Place cutside down on the herbs and onion/garlic. Bake at 400 F for 25-30 minutes or until the eggplant deflates. Allow to cool and scoop inner pulp into a blender with the herbs,onion and garlic. Discard the skin. Puree with lemon juice and more salt and pepper to taste. Service with veggie dippers or good bread.
Pretty? Not so much. But this is a great way to try something you thought you disliked. It removes the bitter compound as well as the texture issue and pairs it with flavors many people already like. I am loving this with fresh olive oil bread and a big slice of fresh tomato with a side salad. Delicious (honestly).
Eggplant, love or hate it?
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