Culinary Smackdown – Battle Eggplant, Part 1

It’s BACK!  After losing track of where the wandering contest went, Ms. Eggy over at Intuitive Eggplant has reinstated the infamous Culinary Smackdown. This month, in honor of her name, we’re competing in Battle Eggplant.  If you’ve been reading here that long, you’ll recall my entries in Battle Sandwich and Battle Chocolate.  I’ve yet to win, so this month I’ve got two entries. Herewith the first:

Eggplant and Yogurt Spread with Red Onions and Olives

The master recipe for this is from a fabulous Greek cookbook, “The Olive and the Caper” by Susanna Hoffman.  It’s really an encyclopedia with recipes and one of my favorites.  This is an incredibly simple yet elegant appetizer or “meze”, a Greek version of tapas.  First, the ingredients:

First of all, roast the eggplant for about an hour at 400 degrees:

Look at her in there, all warm and cozy.  I’d love to show you the wonderful, wilted roasted-ness after an hour, but my photos were out of focus.  I think I’m going to have to start wearing the new glasses for picture taking.  However, while the eggplant is roasting, assemble the other ingredients: Chop 6 Tbl of Kalamata olives, 2 cloves of garlic, 1-1/2 Tbl of fresh basil and about 1/2 a small red onion and mix together:

I also added about 1/2 tsp of this:

I just got it from my favorite place to buy spices and the aroma alone made me have to try it.

By that time, the eggplant has cooled enough to handle.  Slice off the top, slit the skin and scoop out the pulp:

Mix that into the rest of the ingredients:

And finally, add the Greek yogurt.  I used the Dannon version, but the first time I made this I used Fage brand and I have to say I like it better.  However, the Dannon worked fine:

And there you have it!  Pop it into the fridge overnight to allow all the flavors to meld and the mixture to thicken a bit.  To serve, take one of the flatbreads shown above, cut into wedges, and spread a generous amount of the mixture on.  Drizzle with some lemon infused olive oil to add a whole new dimension:

Perfect for hot summer days.  Stay tuned for Part 2 next week. And if you’ve got a great eggplant dish, go to Eggy’s site and get in on the fun!


5 thoughts on “Culinary Smackdown – Battle Eggplant, Part 1

  1. OMG, Granny! You are a woman on a mission with this culinary confab, aren’t you? Here you are a week + ahead of the deadline, already up with Part 1. This dish not only appeals to my tastebuds, you’ve managed to make it look enticing (not always an easy thing to do with cooked eggplant – as I am well aware). I can’t wait for Part 2!

  2. Really nice plating on this dish. Did you use a food processor to blend it all up? It still looks a little chunky, which is good. Congratulations on a solid win.

  3. Hi, Buzz, and thanks! No, I am more of a “chop it by hand” kinda gal. I rarely use a food processor just to chop. I usually make stuff into a mush and for this one, chunky is definitely better. Besides, the portions are pretty small so it’s not a chore.

    Hope to see you in Battle Bacon!


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