Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Eggplant Spread

This is less of a recipe and more of a food idea.

That's because this year's eggplant crop so far has yielded just three itty bitty little eggplants -- not enough for most eggplant recipes, which presume you are starting out with at least one of those volleyball-sized babies. 

One perk of a small crop, however, is that every morsel becomes all the more precious.  Which is why I wanted to do something special with these beauties, even though I really don't know what to do with food you can't knead or dip into chocolate.

Thankfully, famed cookery writer Elizabeth David came to my rescue.  What, you don't know who Elizabeth David is?  Check her out here.  And check out your library to see if they carry any of her books.  You won't be sorry, even if you don't cook from them but just enjoy them in that vicarious almost-as-though-you're-in-the Mediterranean-yourself staycation kind of way.  This idea comes from the book At Elizabeth David's Table:  Classic Recipes and Timeless Kitchen Wisdom.  By Elizabeth David, compiled by Jill Norman, preface by Ruth Reichl.


Cook your eggplant (!).  I had to google this to figure out exactly how to cook my eggplant; I baked it, skin on, at 400 degrees, until it was soft and kind of charred looking, only 10 to 15 minutes for these little guys.  I also thought, halfway through, "I'd better poke these things with a fork so they don't explode."
Once they felt pretty pokable, I took them out of the oven, cooled for a few minutes, then peeled.
Smash them up with a fork, add a dollop of plain yogurt and a dollop of olive oil; squeeze in generously some lemon juice, add salt, and there you have it.  Oh yeah, you can garnish with some chopped up fresh mint.  A truly delicious little eggplant spread that Elizabeth says you can serve as an hors d'oeuvre with bread, or with meat, "in the same manner as a chutney."  I had mine with leftover grilled steak.  Delicious.

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Blogger Farm Girl said...

Oh how yummy, I thought of putting it on Pita crackers. I have two blooms on my egg plant bush. Last year I had them coming out my ears. I fixed one last week (bought egg plant) Eggplant Parmesan. After raising my own I was depressed about the one I bought. I am hoping I get a few before the frost comes. I think this is such a yummy recipe. I have never heard of that lady I will check her out.

August 21, 2012 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Mmm, Farm Girl, I'll bet it would be delicious on pita crackers. Or on tortilla chips, too. Isn't it strange how some years you get a great harvest and others, not so much? Our vegetables have been paltry this year -- eggplant and peppers especially (and the cucumbers have been really bitter). Last year we had amazing peppers, and this year they're about the size of my thumbnail ;( Hope you enjoy reading some of Elizabeth David's recipes.

August 21, 2012 at 5:34 PM  
Blogger Elena said...

That looks so yummy! We love egg plant.

August 23, 2012 at 10:02 AM  
Blogger Lisa Diane said...

This looks delicious!! I haven't had a great garden crop this year, either, with almost everything! My tomatoes were doing great, but have come to a screeching halt in the past two weeks....I'm hearing that from lots of people too....I wonder why??

At least I still have frozen eggplant from last year's garden (now THAT was a productive year!), so I'm going to try this next week - I can't wait!! :-)

August 27, 2012 at 9:05 AM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Lisa Diane, isn't the garden harvest goofy this year? Our tomatoes are finally coming in, so we shall see if it's a good tomato year. Hope you like the eggplant spread. I will definitely be making this agaiin next time I get my hands on some eggplant.

August 27, 2012 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

What a great idea. Love the flavors. I usually make baba ghanoush, but this would be a nice changeup.

October 9, 2012 at 9:22 AM  

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