Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Recipe: Roasted Eggplant & Garlic Puree

My mom and sister say I'm weird now because I try to cook all these "weird" things, like eggplant. Most people will say something like "hmmm...eggplant? I'm not a big fan" or "Omg! It's disgusting" or anything in between. First of all, you should try this Eggplant Parmesan recipe before you say you don't like eggplant because it's DELICIOUS!

Another great thing about eggplant is that its on sale, often. And apparently people in the OC have the same "ohh...ew... eggplant" sentiments, because they usually look really good! Bonus for me!

So I picked up a couple on sale. I intended to make eggplant parm, but ran out of time. I was worried they were going to go bad before I could make the eggplant parm. I saw an eggplant puree in either Food Network mag, or Everyday with Rachael Ray mag, so I figured I'd wing it. Here's what I came up with:

Roasted Eggplant and Garlic Puree

2 or 3 eggplants
1 garlic head
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Italian Seasoning
Aluminum Foil

- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut top off of garlic head to expose the cloves inside. Put the head on a sheet of aluminum foil (I'm in love with the Reynolds Wrappers that hare the pre-cut sheets of aluminum foil. So easy!), drizzle with olive oil and wrap it up.
- Cut eggplants in half length-wise. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning on the flesh side. Put halved eggplants flesh side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Put the foiled garlic head on the baking sheet too. Put it in the oven for 30-45 minutes, until garlic is browned and tender, and eggplant flesh is tender.
- Set them aside to cool, so you can handle them. Once cool enough to handle, scrape eggplant flesh into blender. Squeeze/scoop garlic cloves out of the head, and into the blender. Blend until smooth.

What to do with this...
- Use it on some pasta as a sauce. It's a nice change of pace from regular marinara.
- Put it in a freezer-safe container or bag, and freeze it for later
- Use it for the sauce on your pizza!
- Add it to some marinara sauce for some extra veggie servings and pepped up taste.

I added it to my marinara sauce when we had spaghetti & meatballs the other night.

Quickie Marinara Sauce:

1 onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans of stewed tomatoes
2 cans whole tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato paste

- Saute the onions and garlic in the pan in some olive oil.
- Add tomatoes and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Add tomato paste and simmer a few more minutes until the sauce thickens.
- I like to use my immersion blender and puree the mixture in the pot. Then simmer for a few more minutes. Then add in the roasted eggplant and garlic puree and stir.
- Simmer together for another few minutes.
- Done!

I had enough sauce for our spaghetti & meatballs, and then enough to fill two jars for later! I'll be using the sauce for pizza later this week! Woohoo!

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