Eggplant is such a versatile veggie, given its adaptable flavor, meaty texture when fresh or sautéed, and smooth, silky texture when cooked though and pureed. But I find myself making eggplant parmigiano and baba ganoush a little too often, so I welcome new ways to use it. Enter Eggplant Spread on page 152 of Aloha Days Hula Nights, in the Appetizers – Cold section. Delicious – and talk about versatile! I’ve eaten it a different way every night this week.
This was so easy to put together – chop, sauté, simmer, cool, and serve. The first time I ate it, I served it as recommended – cold, on toasted roasted garlic sourdough bread. It was so yummy! The garlic, cumin and tomatoes reminded me of tacos (and you need to know that I absolutely adore tacos to understand what a great thing that is). It was smoky, spicy, tangy, tart…a perfectly balanced spread, with a prominent eggplant flavor. The time in the fridge allowed the flavors time to blend together (like how chili is better the next day), and the cold spread with the hot toast was a great contract. I loved it!
This week, I put the spread on a huevos-rancheros-style omelet (with the Chutney Guacamole), on a cheese pizza before it went into the oven, into a tortilla for a vegetarian taco (did I mention I love tacos?)… The possibilities are endless with this spread. I will definitely make it again!
One of this spread’s many serving suggestions – spread on tasty toast.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large eggplant, diced small
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, passed through press
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 baguette, thinly sliced
Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add eggplant and green pepper and sauté 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, cumin, and cayenne. Sauté a few minutes then add sugar, vinegar, and tomato sauce. Reduce heat to low, simmer, covered for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover, remove from heat, and allow to cool. Place in serving bowl, cover and refrigerate at least two hours. Remove from refrigerator. Stir in cilantro. Heat oven to 400°F. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet. Toast in hot oven a few minutes until golden. Placed in cloth-lined basket. Serve eggplant with toasted bread.
Serves 6 to 8.
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