Friday, June 16, 2006

Roasted Eggplant Puree

The funniest thing happened to my cooking buddy when he came home from the grocery store the other day. He ended up with 3 items that weren't his, including eggplant, string cheese, and a Ready Pac of iceberg lettuce. After coming up with shopping list together, I asked what his inspiration for these items were, at which point he said that he hadn't purchased those items. The baggers must have accidentally given him someone else's stuff. Whoops!

So what were we to do with these extra items that we had not planned on having? We decided to roast it having found a recipe in my favorite cookbook of all time, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. This book is the authority on all vegetables and vegetarian cooking in general. I adore this book because it is extremely comprehensive but not dense in that boring overwhelming way. I also love that this book has tips on "what to look for", "how to store", and "how to use" every type of veggie out there which has helped me immensely.

Makes 1 1/2 cups
Time: 30-40 minutes

-1 pound eggplant (the fat kind, not the skinny kind)
-2 tbsp olive oil (when I say olive oil, I'm always referring to extra virgin)
-2 garlic cloves, put through a press or pounded with salt
-salt and pepper to taste
-chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 425 F. Slash the eggplant in several places so it won't explode. Put it in a pan and bake until it's soft to the point of collapsing, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes or so. Discard any bitter juices that may collect. Peel off the skin and remove seeds, then finely chop the flesh. Stir in the olive oil, garlic, and season to taste. Garnish with parsley, and serve with crackers or pita bread. I pureed the eggplant with a hand blender so that it would be less chunky and more smooth.

This recipe is so simple and most of the time is due to the baking of the eggplant which is a low maintenance activity. Just be sure to set the timer so you don't forget about it.

We ate this with yogurt sauce with cayenne and dill. I will be writing about this recipe tomorrow which is also comes from this cookbook.

I adore this recipe because it is so simple and allows you to really enjoy this veggie undoctored.

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