Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Eggplant Butter is BETTER!

(Scottsdale Sky courtesy of an iPhone photo)

I made the eggplant butter late yesterday afternoon and I have to say this recipe from Nellie Cashman's Monday Cafe at the Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdale, is a winner all around.

It is easy to make - no special skills required.

It doesn't take very long - a little over an hour to give the roasted eggplants time to cool enough for ease of handling.

It isn't one of those recipes that take a lot of attention. It is something you can easily put together while you are attending to other things. You roast and then add other ingredients.

And, it is one of those "other" ingredients, that elevates the Butter above the Ghanoush, to our way of tasting.

It was my daughter who pinpointed the delicious difference. The white balsamic vinegar, in addition to the fresh lemon juice, gives the mixture what we think is a better acidic balance overall than your standard Baba Ghanoush.

The only downside I can see to the recipe is that while rich it is yet so delicious it is hard to stop eating it just because you know you "should". Self control not being one of my strengths I suppose I'll have to settle for portion control.
Here is the recipe again just in case you missed it and don't want to go clicking around:

2 eggplants

2 tbls chopped garlic

3/4 cups olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 tbls white balsamic vinegar

Sea salt and ground white pepper to taste

Set oven at 350 F. Cut eggplants in half, drizzle eggplant halves with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Roast eggplant (cut side down) on a baking sheet until soft - about 30 minutes

Cool until easy to handle.

Peel eggplant*, add rest of ingredients and process or blend until smooth.

Finish with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature but store covered in the refrigerator. (I will let you know how long it lasts if we don't eat it all in two days....)

*I found it easiest to cradle the roasted, cooled eggplant skin down in my hand, use a large spoon to disconnect the fleshly interior from the stemmed top, and then scoop the pulp directly down into the food processor. Most of the eggplant came away pretty cleanly from the skin with only a few stubborn strands that I could easily disconnect with the spoon edge. However you get the pulp out, it is going to be blended smooth, so you don't get style points for leaving it intact. Just get it out and move on. See? Easy - I told you! And delicious.

We have been enjoying this on homemade toasted pita chips but it would work well with flour tortillas or any sort of flat bread. Play around with what you dip into it - I have a feeling the flavor will work well with a host of delivery foods.

Now I find myself wondering how reasonable it would be to try and grow my own eggplant plants? I could see an advantage to having a steady supply all my own.

You know, give a gal some eggplant butter and she'll be happy and well filled. Teach her how to make the recipe and grow her own and....she'll need elastic waisted pants!?!? That needs work, clearly - I'll be back to finish butchering that metaphor another day.


Anonymous said...

This is great. We call it eggplant spread. We use it for a pizza base (like pestp), as a dip for pita chips, etc. use a grapefruit spoon and the pulp comes out more easily.

TexasDeb said...

What a great idea to remove the pulp with a grapefruit spoon! Thanks for sharing and I hope you'll drop in again.

Anonymous said...

I have HAD to make this "butter" at least four times since the last post. Most recently, i used about four heaoing tablespoons as a minimal pasta sauce...not covering the pasta like a red sauce, but just enough to give it a bit of a coating. I made my own pita bread and my out-of-town guests, including two teenagers and even a one year old hovered around the dish used as a dip. Thank for this recipe!

TexasDeb said...

Anon: I am SO glad! Thanks for dropping in and telling me.

Matt said...

Do you think this will freeze well? I have a ton of eggplant and am looking for another decent way to preserve it...

TexasDeb said...

Matt: Welcome! I think it will freeze however I never had any around long enough to try. If you are able to do so please drop back in and share your experience/s.

Anonymous said...

This might be too late to post, but it does freeze well. Stir well upon thawing.

Anonymous said...

I am the poster who suggested a grapefruit spoon. Can’t seem to put a real name in. I am roasting two eggplants right now.
Just wanted to say all my company love thus. I use thus as a white sauce on pasta. Add some olive oil and grated cheese. Many ideas for thus. My favorite is a night time snack with crackers. Can’t thank you enough for recipe.

Anonymous said...

Grapefruit Spoon/Anonymous:

Thanks so much for reaching out! I am tickled you are enjoying the recipe and grateful for the reminder to make some myself - it has been too long!