Welcome to FOOD & FELLOWSHIP: Old & New Recipes from the Green Acre Kitchen. Each week we will share three recipes, both old and new. When the day comes—and it will—that we can sit at a table and break bread together again, perhaps we will all have a few new dishes to share.
Eggplants are in season in Maine from July until October. Originally from the Indian Sub-Continent, eggplants come in many varieties and are popular throughout much of the world including India, the Mediterranean, China, Japan and the Philippines. They are frequently paired with tomatoes, another member of the nightshade family.
Yields: 1-2 Cups
Baba ganoush is a silky smokey Middle Eastern dip made of mashed roasted eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Baba ganoush is very similar to hummus but uses eggplant instead of chickpeas. It pairs well with pita bread, olives and tabbouleh.
1 large Italian eggplant
2½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus extra for brushing
2 tablespoons tahini paste
1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh
1 garlic clove
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon pepper
Garnish with parsley, pine nuts and olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Trim the top of the eggplant and cut in half.
Place the eggplant halves, flesh side down, on a baking sheet lined with lightly oiled parchment paper. Brush the skin of the eggplant with olive oil. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the eggplant is soft and completely cooked throughout. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, scrape the eggplant flesh from the skin and transfer to a colander. Let drain for 5 minutes. You want to remove as much liquid as possible.
Transfer the eggplant flesh to the bowl of a food processor attached with a blade. Add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne. Pulse the food processor just until everything is combined. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and blend until just smooth. DO NOT OVER BLEND.
Transfer the baba ganoush to a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Just before serving, drizzle the baba ganoush with a little olive oil and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley. Serve with fresh pita triangles.
Servings per Recipe: 4
If you can find them, the small purple Italian eggplant is a good choice for this recipe as they are sweeter and with less seeds than the larger American variety. Baingain Bharta can be served as a dip with a good flatbread or as an entrée with rice and raita (a cooling yogurt condiment).
2 lbs. eggplant
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 to 3 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 green or red jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1 lb. fresh tomatoes, chopped
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped cilantro, including stems
2 teaspoons garam masala
Prick eggplant and grill over a hot fire (a wood fire works best, giving the eggplant the desired smoky flavor). The eggplant can also be broiled in an oven or roasted at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Cook until darkened and collapsed, allow to cool. Cut open and scoop out the insides and mash in bowl with the lime juice.
Servings per Recipe: 14 patties
This is a great vegetarian alternative for those family spaghetti dinners .
Olive oil for brushing
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large eggplant
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¾ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup dried bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Trim the top of the eggplant and cut in half. Brush the skin of the eggplant with olive oil.
Place the eggplant halves, flesh side down, on a baking sheet lined with lightly oiled parchment paper. Brush the skin of the eggplant with olive oil. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the eggplant is soft and completely cooked throughout. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, scrape the eggplant flesh from the skin and place in a large bowl. Lower the oven temperature to 375F.
Mix cheese, parsley, basil, eggs, salt and pepper and ¾ cup of bread crumbs into eggplant. Stir or mix with your hands until ingredients are thoroughly combined. Test the mixture to make sure it can be shaped into patties without falling apart. If the mixture is too soft, add the last ¼ cup of bread crumbs as needed. Refrigerate mixture for 15 minutes, then form into patties. As an alternative, try rolling the mixture into balls.
Place patties or balls on a baking sheet lined with lightly oiled parchment paper. Bake in 375F preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, turning once half way. Serve with pasta and sauce or try serving the leftovers in a sliced baguette.