Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Lebanese spiced eggplant

Recently I tasted a great eggplant spread at the markets in Darwin. It was served on zattar bread with labnah on top. A squeeze of fresh lime juice completed this wonderful taste treat.
I wanted to recreate it when I got home,but I did not have a lot of luck finding a recipe. I had thought that pomegranate molasses was part of the recipe and I managed to track down a bottle. Let's just say I think this must be an acquired taste!
After trial and error I have developed my own recipe. The family loves it!
It's very simple and the taste intensifies the longer it is left.

First I peeled the eggplants ( I had two large eggplants) and sliced them thinly. I sprinkled the sliced eggplant with a dessert spoon of ground coriander,a dessert spoon of ground cummin, a dessert spoon of Cajun spices and salt to taste. Finally I added a tablespoon of minced garlic and a good slug of local Fleurieu peninsula olive oil.

Toss the eggplant to coat all the slices well.
The next step was to char the eggplant.
I found the easiest way to do this was to use my George Forman grill and it was a great success. The oil that drained off I just kept adding back to the eggplant on the grill.

Once it was cooked and had a bit of colour I placed it in a covered container, added about a tablespoon of a really good aged balsamic and a little more olive oil. Keep it in the fridge. It would probably last about a week or it might last longer but I wouldn't know, I ate it all in 4 days.
I bought a wonderful loaf of artisan bread from "The Wild Loaf " at the Adelaide Central Market. Their new quinoa and chia seed loaf was the perfect base for my spread. Bread sliced thinly, topped with my eggplant and labneh, a generous squeeze of lime juice and it was wonderful. Even if I say so myself!

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