more eggplant please! montreal moussaka spread

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yawa is cooking in Montreal this week! this city is gorgeous, with its wide roads, petite, french balconies, and locals who just refuse to speak in english even if they know how. but really, it’s charming. there are also adorable little fruit and vegetable stands on every corner of Plateau and Mont-Royal, the closest neighborhoods to our temporary home. initially drawn to an outdoor display of multi-colored baby carrots and crates of plums that were on special, my old pal mel and i found ourselves trapped in one of these speciality stores, surrounded by overpriced food that i was convinced we desperately needed. including a dip that looked like heaven in a tupperware that i thought would pair perfectly with the red wine in our basket. BUT i decided i could recreate it for half of the cost and left with just the carrots and the wine. and some garlic scape. so, here it is- a perfect mezze spread for a light summer dinner. i used indian eggplants because they are small and cook quickly. any small eggplants will do.

this is a minimal-prep dish that you can pop into oven while you get other things done (and by other things, i mean dish the olives and get started on the wine. it’s a lazy summer over here.) it took me all of eight minutes to prep and requires only 30 minutes of cooking time!

ingredients

3 indian eggplants, halved and sliced (one large eggplant will work too.)20130806-200912.jpg

1 large tomato, sliced

1 half can chickpeas

5 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

lots of ground pepper

generous pours of olive oil (or 2 tbsp work)

1 garlic scape finely chopped

1/3 cup tomato sauce

instructions:

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combine all of the ingredients in a pan and mix well- it’s easiest to use your hands. cover with aluminum foil and bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes. remove foil and mash the ingredients together- you may want to remove the eggplant skins first, but with this variety they’re not as tough, so there’s really no need. but do make sure the eggplant skin comes off easily, if it doesn’t, put the pan in for five more minutes.

mix in the finely chopped garlic scape. (it’s not as spicy as fresh garlic but it adds a nice kick to the dish.)

transfer to a bowl to serve. drizzle with fresh olive oil, and top with paprika, aleppo pepper, and fresh parsley. pair with pita bread or blue tortilla chips. some olives and cheese on the side wouldn’t hurt. red wine is a must.

mixing in some freshly chopped tomato adds a nice dimension, too!

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