Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Eggplant Spread

I'd noticed recently that I was eating far more bread than a person should. After all, what's not to love about the eggshell crisp crust and tender insides of a freshly baked French baguette? No one person needs to consume 18 inches of bread all by themselves, though, so I needed to scale back. This veggie-full spread, which is neither caponata nor ratatouille, but reminiscent of both and just as delicious, served on fresh zucchini rounds was just the ticket.

This recipe calls for tomatoes concassè. Just what is that? Here is a quick tutorial to help you understand the method.

Tomatoes concassè is peeled, seeded and chopped or crushed tomato. The easiest way to peel a tomato is to heat it briefly in boiling water. Follow the photos here and description below. (Click the photo to enlarge.)

Tomatoes concassè
  1. Cut the core from a tomato and turn in upside down.
  2. Cut a small 'X' in the bottom of the tomato and drop into boiling water for 30 seconds.
  3. Remove from water and cool in ice water or very cold water. The heat will cause the peel to separate from the flesh of the tomato and the 'X' will aid in peeling quickly.
  4. Remove the peel and cut the tomato in half crosswise.
  5. Seed by gently squeezing the tomato, cut side down, over a bowl. Crush with your hands (as I did for this dish) or dice with a knife.

Eggplant Spread
Makes 6 cups
Printable Recipe

2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic - minced
1 cup red onion - chopped
2 small eggplants - diced
2 cups baby bella mushrooms - sliced
1 Tablespoon sea salt
6 plum tomatoes concassè
2 Tablespoons capers - drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
basil, oregano and parsley - 1 teaspoon dried, each
1 cup pitted Nicoise olives
1/2 cup shredded fresh Parmesan

In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat and add onion and garlic.
Cook just until onions begin to sweat and are translucent. Add eggplant and mushrooms. Sprinkle salt over all and reduce heat to low. The eggplant and mushrooms will leach their juices and aid the cooking process this takes about 20 minutes.
Once eggplant is softened, add tomatoes, capers, anchovy paste, herbs and olives. Cook for another 20 minutes until all vegetables are soft and flavors are blended.
Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.
Serve hot or cold with your favorite dippers or bread.


kat said...

This sounds so good & I bet I could even sneak it past my eggplant hating husband

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I know what you mean about that bread thing!

Looks like a fun spread and great idea to serve it on more vegetables!