Yesterday was HOT here on the eastern seaboard. Today is not supposed to be any better. While during the winter months I long for summer, when summer is here I long for…spring…fall, those lovely temperate months. I know that we actually have it good. That my body would go into pure melt-down mode if I was in say…Arizona, but I think we would own an air conditioner (or two) if we lived there.
Anyway, yesterday I had grand illusions of cooking something for a little DIY party I was hosting, but it was simply too hot to do so, so instead I decided to make a tapenade with a beautiful Italian crusty bread on the side. Caveat: I did turn on the oven. For exactly 40 minutes. Zara and I sat in front of the fan and sprayed each other with water during the duration (and watched Mulan II. Not a movie I would recommend. But one I’m sure we will watch many more times until it has to go back to the library on *sob* Thursday.)
Anyway, I made an eggplant-olive tapenade, and it was glorious, and simple. Zara helped me, and she ate some of it. This is an incredibly versatile recipe that you can accommodate your food loves into (such as adding sun-dried tomatoes, or more garlic, etc.)
This is what you’ll need;
2 medium-sized eggplants
1/2 cup of green olives (I used garlic stuffed green olives and killed two birds with one stone)
8 garlic cloves (unless you are using the above garlic stuffed olives, then omit)
1 tbsp capers, drained
1 whole lemon, juiced
2 tbsp olive oil
Crusty bread, to serve
Preheat oven to 375 F
Slice the tops off your eggplants and discard. Then slice each eggplant in half lengthwise. Make a cross-hatch pattern on the flesh side of the eggplant, and rub each half with 1/2 tbsp of olive oil, ensuring that the olive oil is well saturated.
Place on baking sheet, flesh side down and put in the oven for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, dump olives, garlic and capers into a blender or cuisinart and gentley blend. Set aside (but keep in the blender).
Sit in front of a fan and spray yourself until your oven timer goes off (j/k).
When your eggplants are done (you’ll know this as the skin will be browning and crispy), remove from oven and flip over. Using a fork, scrape flesh away from the skin and put into the blender/cusinart. Blend well. Add lemon juice and blend one more time. Taste. Delicious right?
Serve with a side of crusty bread and some fruit to enhance the lemon flavor.