Like a wonderfully deconstructed baba ganoush, without the tahini (though a drizzle of tahini sauce at the end might be a fun addition.) This dish is smoky, rich, complex and wonderful. It makes a fine accompaniment to grilled foods and is right at home at the center of a meal, too, surrounded by salads and flatbreads and sauces of all kinds. The eggplant really needs to char to get the full, delicious effect; don’t be afraid to let it get thoroughly blackened on the outside; the inner flesh will become succulent and smoky, without any damage from the searing flames.
This recipe does take a long slow while to prepare, though it’s not a lot of work. It just needs time to drain, and time to marinate. You can cut down on the draining and marinating times if you need to get dinner on the table, but if you have the wherewithal, it’s worth the time to take it slow and let the flavors meld and the liquids drain away, for optimum flavor and beauty.
This recipe also comes to us from one of our favorite books, Jerusalem: A Cookbook.
Burn those eggplants! Use the barbecue/dutch oven method described in our baba ganoush recipe, or, if you have a gas range, follow these instructions.
Place the eggplants directly on the gas burner with medium flames, and roast for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally with tongs. The skin will become burnt and flaky, and the flesh will soften.
Once thoroughly cooked, remove the eggplants from heat and allow them to cool enough to handle. Strip away the burnt skin, and, using your hands, divide the cooked flesh into long thin strips.
Place the flesh in a colander and allow to drain for at least an hour, to get rid of as much water as possible. The liquid that drains from the eggplants is amazing, dark and smoky and full of flavor; consider saving it to use in salad dressings or sauces, or as part of a marinade.
Place the drained eggplant in a medium bowl, and add the garlic, lemon zest and juice, olive, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a generous grind of black pepper. Stir and allow the eggplant mixture to marinate at room temperature for another hour.
To serve, mix in most of the herbs. Taste and adjust for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, or lemon zest, if desired. Pile the eggplant high on a serving plate, scatter the pomegranate seeds, and garnish with the remaining herbs and lemon zest.
Please do us the favor of pretending that the diced red pepper pictured here is, in fact, pomegranate seeds. None of our local markets had any pomegranates…the pepper was an acceptable substitute, though.
It’s part of our mission here at Mountain Feed to help you make delicious, sustainable, homemade food more often. Stop by and say hello on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Or, as always, you can do it the old-fashioned way and come by the store to speak with one of our in-house experts.