What’s your favorite sound in the world?On Monday the boys cooked every single meal over a campfire in the back yard. They made veggie sausages and toast for breakfast, peanut butter and jelly for lunch, and potatoes and mushrooms for dinner. My friend Neil had just told me about a Romanian eggplant dip made with charred eggplant, so I decided to make a version of that. I wrapped an eggplant in foil and cooked it right in the fire for about an hour, till it was melting inside and charred outside. I combined it with pistachios, pine nuts, some herbs, some roasted garlic, and I made thick smooth sauce. We ate it with olive bread and fresh tomatoes, but it would be good with pita and salad, or as a dip for roasted vegetables or chips.
Here’s Autumn Sounds by Jackie Mittoo
1 medium-sized eggplant
1 T olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup pistachios
1 clove roasted or toasted garlic
1 slice bread, soaked in water
pinch fresh rosemary
a few fresh sage leaves
1 t balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and lots of black pepper
If you’re going to cook the eggplant in a fire or on a grill, cut the top off, and then slice through it in a cross formation, but not all the way to the bottom. You want it to hold together. Drizzle a little olive oil into the center of the cuts. Close up the eggplant and wrap loosely in foil. Put on the grill or next to the flames of your campfire. Cook for about an hour, till the eggplant is completely soft and collapsed. If the skin gets charred that’s fine. You can also cook the eggplant in an oven for about the same time (400, maybe?)
Put the cooked eggplant in a colander and let cool. Peel the eggplant.
In a food processor combine the nuts, bread, rosemary and sage. Process until coarse and crumbly. Add the eggplant and balsamic and process until quite smooth. Add the oil in a slow stream with the motor running. The mixture should be quite thick and silky smooth. You can add a touch of water if it’s too thick for your liking. Season well with salt and pepper.