Posts tagged ‘Eggplant’

Basil-Balsamic Baba Ganoush

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I brought home a bag of baby eggplants the other day to make the eggplant and goat cheese pizza that I posted last week, but it soon became clear that I had too many eggplants for just one culinary project. Falling back on an old standby, I decided to whip up a batch of baba ganoush, a Mediterranean dip similar to hummus that I like to use as a dip for veggies and crackers. It also makes a great addition to sandwiches and wraps.

I roasted my eggplants and then opened my cupboards, and found that I was missing two out of the five ingredients for this extremely simple recipe. Time to improvise! I substituted balsamic vinegar for lemon juice, basil for parsley, and pine nuts… well, those I just threw in for fun. In the end, I had a dip very much like baba ganoush but different enough from the original recipe that I thought I should share it with you. I hope you enjoy it!

Basil-Balsamic Baba Ganoush
Makes about 2 cups

1 lb. eggplant (about 1 medium eggplant or 3 baby eggplants)
3 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
¼ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon pine nuts (optional)

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and place face down on a cookie sheet. Roast for 20 – 30 minutes, or until the skin is blistered and the flesh is soft and browned. Let cool.
  2. When the eggplant is cool, scoop the flesh out of the skin and into a blender or food processor.
  3. Add other ingredients to blender (or food processor) and pulse until smooth.

Adapted from 1000 Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles

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August 8, 2009 at 1:53 pm Leave a comment

Eggplant Pesto Pizza

Eggplant Pesto Pizza

It may surprise some of you to learn that I had never heard of eggplant as a pizza topping until a few years ago, when Sean and I visited Rome. It was there that I first experienced what the smoky flavour of a thinly sliced, roasted eggplant can do for a pizza – and I was impressed.

It wasn’t until we moved to New Haven, though, that I really fell in love with eggplant on pizza. Here, the eggplant is breaded and fried and often (at least in our circles) combined with the piquant bite of pickled cherry peppers.

For this recipe, I combined the flavours that we remember from Rome with the combinations that we’ve come to know in New Haven. I roasted the eggplant, both for health’s sake and because this method really allows the smoky flavour of the eggplant to shine through. That flavour is complimented here by the piquant peppers and the creamy goat cheese, while the mellow, melty mozza ties the whole thing together.

Eggplant Pesto Pizza

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tablespoon water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 prepared whole-wheat pizza crust
1 small eggplant (about 10 ounces)
olive oil cooking spray or a spray bottle of olive oil
½ cup pepperoncini, cherry peppers, or other pickled peppers, sliced
½ cup soft goat cheese, crumbled
½ teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

  1. Place all basil, oil, and water in a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Using a sharp knife or a mandoline, slice the eggplant as thinly as possible, leaving the skin on. Place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and spray lightly with oil. (Putting oil in any clean run-of-the-mill spray bottle works well and it’s cheaper than cooking spray).
  3. Preheat oven to 350F. Place eggplant in oven while it’s preheating.
  4. Meanwhile, slice the peppers, shred the mozzarella, and crumble the goat cheese. Roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface.
  5. When the oven has preheated, remove the eggplant. Place the pizza dough on the cookie sheet. Spread with pesto, and layer eggplant on top, grating pepper over the eggplant. Sprinkle with goat cheese, peppers, and mozzarella.
  6. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until mozzarella has melted and crust is browned.

August 1, 2009 at 1:28 pm Leave a comment


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*All entries tagged "vegan" and "gluten free" meet those dietary requirements to the best of my knowledge as long as the vegan or gluten free instructions are followed (where applicable). It is always wise to double-check ingredients (especially when dealing with packaged foods) and to confirm ingredients and preparation methods at restaurants.