Recipe for Roasted Eggplant Paté
Eggplant paté!? Though it may sound a bit exotic and unusual, eggplant paté is actually very popular. It’s quite standard fare in the Mediterranean. The most well-known version, called baba ganoush, hails from the Middle East.
In this recipe, the eggplant is roasted and then blended with spices and lightly toasted walnuts, which give the paté a lovely flavor and texture. Serve this Mediterranean-inspired treat as a snack or part of a light meal with crackers, toasted bread or croûtes, or pita.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 to 50 minutes; 30 minutes cooling time
Spice meter: Mildly spiced
1-1/4 pounds eggplants, about 2 medium, halved
2 plump cloves garlic, minced
1-1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or white wine vinegar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted in a dry skillet
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Place the eggplants, skin side down, on the baking sheet and bake until the flesh is soft, about 40 to 50 minutes. Set on a rack to cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Scoop out the flesh of the eggplant with a spoon. You should have about 1 cup. Put the eggplant flesh in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse until the eggplant is coarsely chopped.
Add the garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and walnuts and process until blended. Add the parsley and pulse to mix.
With the machine running, pour the olive oil through the tube and process until the mixture is smooth. Add additional olive oil if the paste is too thick. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve at room temperature.
Garnish the eggplant paté with a sprinkle of red — cayenne, paprika, or crushed red chile flakes — and a bit of green — a small sprig of fresh flat-leaf parsley, or chopped parsley.
Per serving: Calories 151 (From Fat 126); Fat 14g (Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 222mg; Carbohydrate 6g (Dietary Fiber 2g); Protein 2g.