Sunday, May 8, 2011

Rumors to the contrary, I am still alive

April may not be the cruelest month, but it certainly was a busy one.  I spent a lot of it eating beans and rice and things out of boxes.  So nothing exciting to talk about food wise.  Except to say that my second favorite breakfast after eggs and sausage is a big slice of Yorkshire pudding with jam.  But most of this month my breakfasts have mostly been a gigantic cup of coffee or two, and a peanut butter and honey sandwich if I remember to pack a spare.

So, I've been keeping myself busy with school and friends and family, and there was a holiday in there, and then my brother graduated from college, and I went home to Alaska for the big event, and suddenly it's May and I haven't posted to my blog in a month, and people are starting to send me emails wanting to know the reason why.  AND I still have not made the definitive rhubarb custard.  Oh well.

Well, actually there is one recent recipe worth sharing, and it's a good one.

Last week, one of my college friends turned thirty.  To assist her in dealing with the shock of it all, I took a small vat of eggplant dip to her birthday party.  She is sensitive to wheat and deals poorly with members of the chili family.  So most recipes for eggplant dip were unsuitable in that they called for bread as an ingredient and/or chilis or bell peppers.

But I wanted eggplant dip.  So I improvised.

Eggplant Olive Dip

1 1lb eggplant, halved lengthwise and the flesh scored in a crosshatch pattern.
2 medium tomatoes halved
Olive oil
1 or 2 or several cloves of garlic minced, smashed, or otherwise rendered blender friendly
1/4 cup or so kalamata olives or other brine cured olives
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375.

Rub the cut sides of the eggplant with olive oil.  Rub the tomatoes with olive oil. Rub a shallow baking pan with olive oil.  Place the eggplant and tomatoes cut sides down in the pan and slide it into the oven.  Leave it alone for fifty minutes or an hour, until everything is roasted and delicious smelling.

When time is up, allow the veggies (fruit actually, but never mind) to cool, so that you don't burn yourself when you strip the flesh from the eggplant peel and dump everything including the garlic and olives in a food processor or blender or food mill or whatever.

Add a healthy dribble of olive oil.  I think I used a tablespoon, and puree by your favorite method. 

Transer to a suitable container and stick in the fridge over night to allow the flavors to develop.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with pita wedges or toast or use as a sandwich spread.  It's marvelous with cheese, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches.

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