Saturday, August 3, 2013

eating my share: enchanted by eggplant

I come from a family of food-lovers. My dad's sisters are known for making crowds of people happy with their food whether it be a fresh and colorful salad or a platter of cookies you can't stop eating. These women have excellent taste and it shines in the food they prepare. 

When I saw this book on my aunt's shelf I was intrigued. The title is clearly spectacular and the inside pages are filled with handwritten recipes and illustrations.

One of the recipes we've made from the book is a puree of roasted eggplant, tahini and yogurt. After having my wisdom teeth removed on Friday I needed some pureed food to get through my recovery. I sent my husband to the kitchen with this recipe. The bowl he brought me was warm, nourishing and just the sort of thing my aunts would enjoy.

Spicy Eggplant Soup with a Swirl of Tomato 

to roast
2 lb eggplant
1 head of garlic, discard any loose skin and leave the head intact but slice off the top part to expose the cloves.
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, stem removed
oil to coat baking sheet

Preheat oven to 375.

Cut the eggplant lengthwise into quarters. Sprinkle with salt and let sit to drain for 30 minutes. Wipe off moisture with a clean towel and transfer to an oiled baking sheet along with the garlic and pepper. Roast for 30-45 minutes until the eggplant is very tender. Let cool.

Scrape the eggplant from it's skin, squeeze the roasted garlic from it's skin and remove the seeds from the jalapeno.

soup swirl
1 small tomato or 8 cherry tomatoes
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tsp preserved lemon (or 1 tsp lemon zest with a pinch of salt)
2 tbs yogurt

Process these ingredients with an immersion blender or in a food processor until smooth.

bring it all together
2 tbs oil
1 large onion, diced
1 tsp salt
roasted vegetables from above
2 tbs lemon juice
2 cups of water, plus more if needed
1/4 cup yogurt
3 tbs tahini paste (almond butter could be a good substitute)
2 tbs honey

Heat the oil in a pot and saute the onions until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Season with salt after 5 minutes.

Turn off the heat and add in the remainder of ingredients. Use an immersion blender or transfer to a blender and puree into a smooth soup. Season to taste. Ladel into bowls and top each with a tomato swirl and some fresh parsley or cilantro.

How have you been eating your eggplant this summer?

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