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Smoked Eggplant Puree

by Annalisa Brown (follow)
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The French refer to this dish as Eggplant Caviar but I can certainly attest there is no beluga or egg roe in this recipe. In Turkey and Morocco they prefer to call it an Eggplant Salad. In Italy, it is used as an alternative to tomato paste in pasta, on as a puree served with chicken, meat or fish. In the Middle East it is better known as Mouttabal.

Smoked Eggplant Puree is an easier to make, lighter and less rich version of the more common Baba Ganoush and is made by roasting eggplants and mashing them with a little lemon juice and a few spices of choice namely garlic and pepper and garnishing with a good quality olive oil.

I prefer to have this wonderfully spicy and tangy puree as a dip with toasted pita bread and chilled white wine, namely a Jen Pfeiffer "The Rebel" 2013 Sauvignon Blanc. It's a young but easy drinking wine that matches well with antipasto vegetables such as artichokes and eggplants and with chargrilled flavours and textures.

Smoked Eggplant Puree - there is no beluga or egg roe in this recipe even though the French refer to this dish as Eggplant Cavier.

Enjoy this at your next BBQ, Picnic or Open Air Cinema event.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 1 Cup

1 Large Eggplant
Juice from 1 Lemon
1 Tablespoon White Vinegar
½ Teaspoon Minced or Crushed Garlic
Salt to taste
Olive Oil to garnish
Fennel Seeds to garnish
Smoked Paprika to garnish

Roast the eggplants either under the grill or on a hot-plate or BBQ for about 30-minutes.

Once the flesh of the eggplant is golden brown in colour and the skins looks wrinkled and blackened remove from the heat and let cool.

Grill or BBQ the Eggplant.

Roughly chop and the eggplant and squeeze any liquid from the roasted eggplant.

Place the chopped eggplant into a food processor. I love the taste and texture of charred eggplant skin however, if the taste is a little too strong, you may want to remove the skin as an option.

Add the lemon juice, vinegar, garlic and salt and pulse until all ingredients are pureed.

Add lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, salt to the chopped roasted eggplant and pulse until pureed.

Spoon the puree onto a flat serving plate, scatter fennel seeds over the puree and drizzle good quality olive oil over the top. Refrigerate until required.

Serve the puree as a dip or salad with toasted pita bread.

Alternatively heat the puree and use as a sauce with pasta, chicken or fish.

Smoked Eggplant Puree - serve as a dip with some toasted pita bread.

#Middle Eastern
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