Last summer's favorite antipasto - Ottolenghi inspired
October 14th, 2009

The “last summer’s” in above headline is a reminder for myself, that summer is not that far behind us – quite hard to imagine considering the first snowflakes that have been falling today. But despite their seasonal context, I wouldn’t hesitate to serve these spicy bites year-round, certainly throughout fall and the upcoming winter, they’re just too good to miss out on.

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Besides its super simple and quick preparation this recipe is an absolute crowd pleaser, whenever I brought it to a bbq or similar event, even eggplant critics were convinced. Not wanting to arrive empty handed at Oliver’s parents house, our last weekend’s getaway, of course I packed the half-emptied bowl of eggplant delight. They were supposed to fill in as an appetizer for the planned, homecooked dinner the same evening, but secretly vanished without a trace. Rumor has it, Oliver’s mum’s to blame… but we have no proof.

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Preheat the oven to 200°C (~390° Fahrenheit) and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Trim both ends of the eggplants, then cut each in two equal sized halves width-ways. Now cut each piece into six to eight wedges, depending on the eggplants’ initial size. Key is to obtain (almost) equally sized wedges.

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Generously brush the wedges with olive oil, place on the tray (skin side down) and season with sea salt and black pepper. Bake in the oven (middle level) for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tips have turned brown and the wedges feel soft to the touch.

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Meanwhile prepare the marinade: In a large bowl mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, chopped red chili (dicard seeds, if you like it less spicy), chopped herbs, chopped garlic, sea salt and black pepper. Set aside.

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The Ottolenghi cookbook recommends serving the eggplants with the green tahini sauce from page 272 – just without the parsley. I find these wedges equally delicious without anything extra, but if preparing the sauce, I’d highly recommend making it WITH parsley or cilantro (or even basil): Mix together tahini paste, lemon juice, water and salt in a food processor – I omit the recipe’s addition of garlic – then add the finely chopped parsley and season to taste.

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As soon as the eggplants are done, dump them into the bowl of marinade while still hot and carefully stir (the wedges should not be mashed!) until everything is well covered. Serve after an hour at room temperature, or keep in the fridge (in a container) for some days. Enjoy with bread and/or the green tahini sauce.

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Marinated eggplants à la Ottolenghi

Recipe source: adapted from Ottolenghi - The Cookbook, p. 26

Required time: ~ 40 min, plus at least 1 hour marinating

.

Ingredients:

3 medium sized eggplants

olive oil for brushing

fine sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

.

Marinade:

5 tbsp olive oil

5 tbsp lemon juice

1 small red chili

3-4 tbsp finely chopped fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro or basil)

1-2 garlic cloves

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

.

Green tahini sauce:

75 g tahini paste

75 g lemon juice

50 ml/g water

fine sea salt

2 tbsp finely chopped parsley (or cilantro, basil)

Comments

Oct 14th,
2009

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2009

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