Wednesday, January 7, 2009
It is not secret that I did not eat much as a child. If I did eat, then it was usually only my mother's food. I never ate at any one's house or restaurant. Being the picky eater that I was (and am) I was always afraid that other people would try and slip something in my food that I didn't like...and then I would start gagging at the table...and make a scene...etc etc etc. So my mother quickly learned that I was best fed with food from her kitchen and her hands.
I didn't like a lot of veggies as a kid especially things like eggplant and zucchini. However, this dish...oooh it makes me feel all good and warm inside. I don't know what it is? My mother made it for me when I was a bit older. It has lots of juicy tomatoes in it and nice fresh olive oil. *In Russia, my mother used to make it with sunflower oil which gave it a very authentic flavor.*
For the past few nights, this has been my dinner. I spread this salad/spread on a few pieces of toasted whole grain bread. Sometimes when I am being really bad, I will do it on good Russian "grey bread" or the American equivalent, sourdough bread.
Those simple flavors are sometimes all that I need...
Roasted Eggplant Spread
3 large eggplants
1/2 an onion
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Wash and dry your eggplants well. Place them on a baking sheet or roasting pan.
3. Poke some holes in the eggplants with a fork to give the steam somewhere to go.
4. Pour some oil on top of the eggplants so that they don't dry up in the oven.
5. Place in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes. Or until they look deflated, like the above picture.
6. Place them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap so that they can "steam". This process will make the removal of the skin much easier.
7. If you have time, let the eggplants cool, it will be easier to handle them while removing the skin. If you are like me and you don't have time, then just put on some rubber gloves and work fast!
8. Remove the skin and cut of the top stem. Drop the cleaned eggplants into a colander and leave to drain for about 10 minutes. Usually, if I haven't had time to cool them, I place a bowl underneath the colander and stick it in the freezer. That way it drains and cools at the same time!
9. Place the eggplants on a large cutting board and run your chefs knife through it a couple times. Just rock your knife back and forth to create a paste. Place in a bowl and smash up a bit more with a spoon, just so that it's one "paste".
10. Chop up your tomato and onion finely. Add to the eggplant mixture along with salt, pepper and good extra virgin olive oil.
11. Spread on some good bread or even crackers and enjoy!