The Spice Rack

"There is no love sincerer than the love of food." Join me as I explore this love with reckless abandon. Each week try a new recipe from a different region. Read a little about each recipes' history and a lot about what it took to get it from the pages of the cookbook to the dinner table.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Eggplant Bruschette


This week I decided to write about what I consider to be a greatly underappreciated vegetable...eggplant. I love it, but I always find myself at a loss when I try to come it with recipes to make with it. So when I came across this recipe in the March issue of Gourmet I gave it a try at once. And it's great. I'd never considered making eggplant into a hummus-like spread, but it's fantastic. Give it a try the next time you need a unique appetizer.

Eggplant Bruschette
1 baguette
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 garlic cloves, one left unpeeled
1 small eggplant
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon chopped, fresh rosemary
1.4 teaspoon fresh, chopped oregano
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Cut baguette into 1/4 inch slices
Brush one side of each with olive oil, and arrange on a baking sheet
Toast for about 8 minutes
While warm, rub with the 1/2 clove of garlic

Reduce oven to 350 degrees

Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Make shallow incisions in each side with a sharp knife.
Arrange, cut side up, in a baking dish, add whole garlic clove.
Sprinkle with thyme, rosemary, oregano, sea salt and pepper over the eggplant.
Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake until the garlic clove is tender (30-35 minutes)
Remove garlic from pan and save. Continue to cook to eggplant until it is very tender (another 20-25 minutes)
When the garlic is cool, squeeze from the peel onto a cutting board.
Put eggplant on a cutting board when it is done and allow to cool.
Scrape the eggplant out from the peel.
Finely chop eggplant and garlic together. Put in a bowl.
Add parsley and remaining oil and stir until combined.
Season with salt and pepper.
Spread the mixture on the toasted baguette and enjoy!

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