Purée d’Aubergines au Cumin
The eggplants look so beautiful, so elegant, purplish-black, elongated, I almost hate to pick them. This summertime appetizer is a variation on the Middle Eastern baba ghanouj. I pick the eggplants when they are still small, less than 8 ounces. Their flavour is more delicate
4 small eggplants (each about 8 ounces)
1 fat garlic clove, peeled
1 generous tbsp sesame paste (tahini)
2 tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 scant tsp fine sea salt ( taste and add if necessary)
A generous amount of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Prick the eggplants all over. Place the eggplants directly on an oven rack in the centre of the oven (placing them directly on the rack allows the air to circulate as the eggplants cook-they roast rather than steam.) Pl;ace a baking sheet on the rack beneath the eggplants to collect any juices. Roast the eggplants until they are soft and collapsed, about 25 minutes. There is no need to turn them.
Place the eggplants on a cutting board and trim off the steam ends and discard. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. With a small spoon scrape out the pulp; and discard the skins. Put the pulp into a food processor or blender. Add the garlic, sesame paste, lemon juice , seasonings and cumin seeds and blend thoroughly. Taste for seasoning. Transfer to a bowl and serve as an appetizer with an assortment of raw vegetables or crisp bread.
Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to three days.
A little taste of summer in Provence.