Being one of the most divisive fruits around (yes, eggplant is a fruit—in the nightshade family, like tomatoes), it can be hard to find yourself so burdened with these purple beauties when you've got nobody to share 'em with. And while I'm an aubergine convert, Mr. Nervous most decidedly is not. (True, there is always something decidedly, well, eggplanty about them that is hard to cook out. You have to love it, or else you'll want to leave it.)
Luckily, I accidentally stumbled upon something eggplant-based that we can both agree on, provided there's enough garlic in it to kill a small horse: Baba ghanoush.
I don't remember where the idea for this recipe came from, to be honest. Maybe someone mentioned to me that piercing an eggplant and roasting it in foil on the stove is easier than in the oven, or maybe I just wasn't interested in standing next to 450°F for a half hour and opted instead for the less stifling heat from more directly indirect (if that makes sense) contact.
In any event, once I unlocked the key to easily cooking eggplant, and I needed something to do with it, the rest seemed pretty obvious. (And ridiculously easy. Almost embarrassingly easy. Try it; you'll like it.)
|1 medium eggplant|
2 cloves garlic
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp dried parsley
1/8 tsp chili pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
|Wash the eggplant and, with a fork, pierce the skin in several places. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil (double up if you have to), and cook over medium flame directly on the grate of a gas stove, rotating it until it starts to collapse (about 15 minutes total; 5 minutes per side). |
Remove from heat and open the foil to allow some steam to escape before carefully slicing the eggplant down the middle with a paring knife, again being mindful of the steam.
Once the eggplant is cool enough to handle, scrape the roasted flesh out with a fork, and add it to the bowl of a food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Puree until smooth.
Serve hot, room temperature, or chilled.
Good thing there's still more where that eggplant came from: I'm eating this stuff like crazy lately.