Friday, November 13, 2015

Egg Plant Tapenade



This is a mediterranean recipe that I modified to suit my taste. I flame grilled the egg plant to give it smoky flavour and substituted pine nuts for walnuts and sun dried tomatoes for fresh ones. The smoky egg plant combined with the slightly tangy and nutty flavours turned out really delicious. We should not forget that the egg plant is the king in this dish, so care should be taken not to over power it with other flavours. Therefore adding just the right proportions of everything makes it not only enhanced in flavour but also in taste.

Ingredients:
Large dark purple egg plant - 1
Sun dried tomatoes             - 1 tbs
Walnuts(lightly toasted)        - 2 tbs
Extra virgin olive oil              - 2 tbs
Pitted kalamata olives          - 8-10
Lemon juice                         - 1 tsp
Small onion(finely chopped  - 1
Garlic clove                          - 1

To garnish:
Ground Cumin                   - 1/2tsp
Cayenne pepper/paprika    - 1/4tsp
Extra virgin olive oil            - 2 tbs
Cilantro finely chopped      - 1 tbs

Method: 
1. Flame grill the egg plant on the gas stove till it is charred all over and becomes soft. Leave it to cool.
2. Toast the walnuts with a little olive oil. Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in just a little water.
3. Remove the charred skin from the cooled egg plant, clean well so that no charred remnants are sticking to the egg plant, cut it open without loosing its juices, scrape out the seeds if they are too big and hard, otherwise you can leave them.
4. Heat 2 tbs of olive oil in a sauce pan and fry the chopped onion, once it is translucent add the chopped garlic clove, walnuts, give it a quick stir and remove from stove.
5. In a dry grinder, grind together the chopped onion and walnut mixture (pour it with the olive oil in the pan into the grinder) along with the sun-dried tomatoes, salt and pepper to make a smooth paste. You can add a green chilly if you want some heat. For me without thegreen chilly it tasted better.
6. Now mash the egg plant with a hand blender and incorporate the ground mixture into it to make a sligthly smooth but still a little coarse paste. The roasted egg plant should be well blended with the ground paste.
7. Transfer the contents to a serving bowl. Add chopped cilantro, a dash of  lemon juice, adjust the salt and mix well.  Sprinkle cumin and cayenne or paprika on top, drizzle olive oil and enjoy!


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