Thursday, 5 March 2015

Eggplant Spread

A Summer vegetable garden seems to reward endlessly. Currently, our big crops are tomatoes, eggplant and chillies and we are now focussed on dishes that use up lots of tthem or preserving. This quite simple eggplant spread makes a great base for bruscetta or any form of toasted sourdough or as I have used,  Middle Eastern flat bread. I like to cut the bread into generous fingers and then assemble a platter - a perfect starter or snack.

I used purslane instead of parsley for this version. I pluck the small leaves from the stems or pinch off little pieces rather than chopping it up.

Purslane is a succulent/weed that adds texture and has a delicious flavour. It was a surprise to find a bage of this delicious plant on my doorstep, some to eat, some to plant and hopefully the seed will set and I will have it growing in my garden.

More eggplants ready for picking

Eggplant Spread
1 -2 eggplant
½ small onion, very finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small chilli, finely chopped
1 -2 tablespoons lemon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
freshly ground black pepper, salt

To Serve

Toasted bread slices
cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
Meredith goat Cheese / crumbled fetta

Pierce eggplant a few times with a skewer. Char over a gas flame if possible and allow skin to blister. or put on barbecue. If neither of these is possible skip this step.

Once skin has blistered place eggplant in the microwave and cook on high until it is all soft and squishy.

Carefully remove from the microwave, cut in half and scoop out the flesh, dicard the skin.

Finely chop /mash the flesh and place in a bowl.

Add diced onion, garlic, parsley, chilli, pepper, oil and a little salt if desired. Mix well.

Spread over toasted sourdough/ ciabatta, breadstick, top with crumbled cheese and the tomato pieces.

I like to serve the spread at room temperature, if you make it in advance or have leftover, refrigerate and then remove from the fridge and hour or so before it is needed.

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