Your favourite recipe for eggplant
- k.ts Jan 7, 2010 07:05 AM
I really like eggplant and would like to try some new ways of cooking it. My current favourite is diced eggplant, chilli peppers, chopped tomatoes, and black olives, poured over pasta and topped with parmesan and basil. (mmmmm) I've also roasted it in big slices with olive oil and oregano... other ideas?
-eggplant parm- broiled slices of eggplant layered with cheese, ricotta, sauce- baked in a casserole dish
- dipped in egg or oil and cornflake crumbs and baked
- braised? stewed? cooked for a long time in a pot with lots of onions and chickpeas
- sliced lengthwise, broiled, and rolled around spinach and ricotta and baked with tomato sauce.
Don't think I ever had a style I didn't like. But my fav would be plain fried, flour, eggwash, seasoned breadcrumbs.
Halve two large aubergines. Rub the surface with lemon halves, brush with olive oil, season with salt & pepper and roast in the oven about a half hour until soft. Let cool. At this point you can scoop the insides out and leave the skins behind.
Place the eggplant scoopings in a saute pan and add 2-3 bay leaves, as much Saffron as you can afford, some coarsely chopped garlic and, if you like, a little minced onion or shallot. Saute with plenty of good olive oil just until fragrant. Place the hot mixture in the food processor and pulse until the fibrous parts of the eggplant are broken up and the seeds begin looking like caviar.
Serve at room temperature on toasts made from a loaf of good bread.
Cube (3/4" cubes) eggplant, moisten with milk and dust with flour seasoned with basil, lavender and marjoram and deep fry just until the flour turns light amber. Toss the fried eggplant cubes with equal-sized cubes of fresh mozarella cheese, garden tomatoes and a jar of Italian-style Giardiniara (pickled vegetable salad) that's been rinsed and drained thoroughly. Serve the salad at once. Shred fresh basil all over the salad.
Make a marinade by combining soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, Srircha sauce, diced garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.
Cut up eggplants into 1 inch discs, and gently steam until just barely fork tender.
Let the eggplants cool and come to room temp and then toss with marinade, and garnish with diced scallions, toasted sesame seeds and nori flakes.
Here is a link to my absolute favorite, a Madhur Jaffrey recipe that is as great alongside fried chicken or grilled fish as it is in an Indian spread. It is wonderful at room temp, perfect for a picnic. I also like to fold it into naan or pita and eat it as a sandwich. I love it so much that I almost--almost--ate some I found lurking in my fridge yesterday, but when I thought about it, it was almost a month old. It hurt so much to throw it out.
BTW, I agree w/the posters' note: I never use so much oil that I need a sieve either.
Many excellent suggestions here:
I want to try the Sichuan Fish Fragrant Eggplant (no actual fishes here), and the eggplant-chickpea casserole.
And to think I loathed eggplant as a kid; suddenly I knew I had grown up when I began loving Baingan-ka-Bhartha (Indian, roasted eggplant, dish).
If you want first hand information and tips about Sichuan Fish Fragrant Eggplant, a read of the Vegetable reports from the Fuschia Dunlop book Land of Plenty when it was Cookbook of the Month will give you an idea of how much we loved this dish.
Just scroll down toward the middle of the thread... quite a few of us made it:
re: chef chicklet
whether mine is done right is of course subjective but I like it,my wife who doesn't eat eggplant LOL ,my fussy son both do .First I peel and slice then dry in a shallow pan 400 degrees turning and watching so it don't burn (a little's ok) ,when dry I add olive oil toss salt and pepper ,high heat continues when eggplants cooked I cover with bread crumbs and grated cheese to just brown ,done ,.For them I add tomato sauce and mozzarella
This dish, Imam Bayildi, literally means, "the Imam fainted". As the legend goes, a certain Imam (Muslim religious leader), after observing a holy day and ending a long fast, was so taken with the delicious aroma of this dish, he fainted dead away. The dish was named in his honor.
Grilled eggplant. Good on its own and great in salads.
Slice it medium thick leaving the skin on, sweat it (salt it, let stand, pat dry), drizzle your best olive oil on it, grill on a hot grill flipping it as needed to prevent sticking and excess charring.
I too have fallen in love with eggplant and continue to play. I love a great eggplant parm but lately I just roast it with some oil, s&p and cumin (diced) then put it on a big wasa cracker with hummus- mmmmmmmmmmmmm
My family and I have an asian eggplant dish similar to this, except using fish sauce instead of soy sauce. The eggplant is first baked in the oven at 300 degrees 'til it's soft and squishy and browned/blistered (I've never actually timed this).Then the skin is peeled and the eggplant split into thick strands with a fork. It all goes into a bowl with a light drizzle of vegetable oil and some fish sauce + lime + garlic + chopped chilies + bit of sugar. One of my favorite comfort foods when eaten with plain rice.
Though I've made a note to try out the soy marinade, especially since it has cilantro in it -- yum!
I like an untraditional eggplant parm. I salt it then rinse it, pat it dry. I toss it in olive oil and roast it in olive oil and garlic until softened a bit, I add a bit of marinara some torn basil, and some good parm cheese, or a small chunk of a good mozzerella di bufala, I season it with salt and pepper and stick it back in the oven until the cheese melts. Simple and delicious. I serve aside some pasta with extra marinara.
Roasting the snot out of it in a 500-degree oven, then pureeing it with plenty of Parm and some minced parsley and garlic. Stir in a little olive oil, lemon juice, and salt to taste. Great as a spread or a dip.
I'll also roast it as above and stir the puree into a variety of dishes. It adds body, flavor, and nutritional value to all sorts of braises or red pasta sauces.
lots of ideas...
“The aubergines were slow- baked for six hours, brought to the table whole, and skinned in front of us. They took out the flesh, crisscrossed the aubergines with two knives, and then added whipped cream with hazelnuts, lemon, sweet pepper, oil, feta cheese, salt and pepper. Incredible.” Ever since I read this description I've wanted to try this straightforward recipe, but I don't have an oven. But you do! It's number 2 on this list of 50 best foods in the world, from Ta Kioupa in Athens-- http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...
This Iraqi-Jewish sandwich is awesome-- http://herbivoracious.com/2008/04/rec...
Eggplant is good cooked in a little honey. Add whatever other flavors sound good, like garlic, ginger, citrus, parsley, cumin, cayenne, etc. Something to balance out the sweetness.
Eggplant also goes very well with shiso. Not surprising, since many cultures cook eggplant with either mint or basil.
6 hours? it must mean a **very** slow oven --- otherwise, there ain't no there, there.
sounds tasty, though. i'd probably just grill it till it was smoky & soft. i like the hazelnuts idea, for texture. my natural inclination would have been toasted pine nuts, of course -- or walnuts. the whipped cream is an intriguing addition. does one just scoop this up with some fresh, hot pita?
thanks for the article link. i got hungry!
our family favorite is eggplant meatballs.
peel and quarter the meatballs. boil it until soft. (i've tried sauteeing with olive oil and it is just too greasy. next time i'm going to try to slice and bake and then puree.) drain and salt. squeeze any remaining water out. mix with dried italian bread crumbs, (i've tried panko and homemade and for whatever reason, they are best with the cardboard can!) LOTS of minced garlic, a few eggs (depending on how much eggplant you have and how much bread crumbs you use), fresh basil and parmesan cheese. roll into ping pong sized balls, then give them a little push to flatten them out a bit, pat down in remaining bread crumb and saute them in olive oil.
i serve them with my mother in law's awesome marinara (we call it sauce, our neighbors call it sunday gravy), pasta and a yummy caesar salad! mmmm
I just made Mario Batali's eggplant meatballs:
Changes: I cut up the eggplant into 1 inch chunks and roasted them for an hour (drizzled with olive oil) rather than boiling them. Instead of dunking the bread in the water, I used (skim) milk Other than that, followed pretty closely (though I'm sure I used more garlic). I also added some (cardboard can) breadcrumbs because the mixture was pretty wet. They were amazingly delicious! I think I like them better than meat meatballs.
Eggplant roasted into submission, minced garlic, mayo, salt, pepper. That's it. Serve with warm pita, or eat with spoon.
Eggplant Saltimbocca (sp?). Tried this when we were overwhelmed with eggplants. Adapted from a more typical veal recipe.
Slice eggplant lengthwise 1/4" thick. Bread lightly as for eggplant parm and bake in oven until golden. Remove and let cool until you can handle them. Layer each slice with prosciutto, sage, and provolone. Return to oven to rewarm and melt cheese. In a pan saute a little garlic in olive oil and butter, add fresh spinach and wilt with a little white wine. Place wilted spinach on a plate, top with eggplant slices. Reduce liquid in pan and pour over eggplant.
Do you have a waffle maker or panini press? One of my favorite tricks from this board was someone's suggestion of breading slices of eggplant (maybe 1/4 inch thick) and cooking them in the waffle maker. I like to use a mixture of panko (slightly crushed), parmigiano reggiano and a little cayenne. Dip the slices in an egg wash, then the breading, then into the waffle maker or panini press. They come out crispy, savory and very addictive! I've done it with just the cheese and spices and they are also wonderful.
I recently made Catalan rabbit, which involves braising a whole rabbit in a really good eggplant-heavy sauce:
1 large sweet onion
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 large eggplant
5 ripe tomatoes
1 head of garlic
1 cup red wine
Salt and pepper, season throughout cooking process
Dice all vegetables to the size of your pinky fingernail. Smash and skin garlic, and roughly chop. In a large stainless or iron pot, saute garlic in olive oil until fragrant, but not browned. Add onion and saute until browned and caramelization begins sticking to the bottom. Deglaze with wine, add other vegetables when wine comes to a boil. Simmer over medium-low heat for about 2 hours, stirring and scraping bottom occasionally, until it thickens into a rich, chunky sauce.
If you want to make the rabbit with this sauce, presalt your cut-up rabbit and give it a few hours to air-dry. When dry on the surface brown the pieces and deglaze pan before adding to the sauce and simmering together for about 25 minutes. If rabbit is not your style, the sauce is excellent over pasta or eaten with fresh bread.
My favorite is the Italian version of Ratatouille, or what my family called "Giamborta". It is a simple vegetable stew, with cubed eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, shallots, and bell pepper in a thin tomato broth that is seasoned with garlic and oregano. As a child, they got me to eat it by insisting that it tasted like pizza (it was the oregano and garlic in tomato sauce that they were referring to). You can vary the ingredients by adding carrot, onion, or zucchini, and you can add bay leaf for more flavor -- but the star has to be eggplant and it has to have tomato, garlic and oregano. Serve with a crusty bread. Yum. I think I will make some tomorrow.
I love the recipe from Alford/Duguid's Hot Sour Salty Sweet, called, with not a little hyperbole, "The Best Eggplant Dish Ever." It uses a Northern Burmese cooking technique of steaming food without water in a tightly covered pot. Narrow Asian eggplants work best and produce the most tender results. I've also made the dish with larger globe eggplants, although the cooking time needs to be increased.
Mark Bittman included the recipe in his review of the book that appeared in the New York Times:
He does not feel it is the best recipe in the book (nor necessarily the best eggplant recipe ever), but it is among my favorites.
Eggplant a la Josephine
(Josephine is XMIL, born and raised in Sicily) She will be 91 on May 5 and now has Alzheimer’s disease. I was one of two DILs and the only one who really wanted to learn how to cook like her. Now, no one but me makes her recipes, as my DD is not interested (yet)
I keep telling DD she should learn this stuff, but I can’t make her.
I had never even tasted eggplant in my life until I had MILs. Later, when I tasted other eggplant dishes, breaded, fried, baked, paremesan, etc. I didn’t like any of them as well as MILs recipe, and I still don’t. I even love this stuff cold. This is as much a method as it is a recipe. And I have never substituted or changed a single thing about the recipe. The pecorino is essential, I have never substituted parmesan. There are so few ingredients I don’t recommend changing anything.
3 purple eggplants (I pick eggplants that are narrower and longer)
Coarse Kosher salt
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Line a baking sheet with a layer of paper towels
Slice eggplant thinly
Spread one single layer on paper towels
Sprinkle very lightly with kosher salt
Place another layer of paper towels over eggplant slices and repeat layering until all eggplant slices are salted.
Turn entire “production” over i.e. the slices that were on the bottom are now on the top.
The paper towels will be wet.
Heat scant amount of olive oil in sauté pan.
Place a layer of eggplant and sauté a few moments on each side.
Place eggplant on clean paper towels and begin process again until all slices are sautéed, discarding all the wet paper towels as you remove the eggplant and putting sautéed slices in single layers between paper toweling as before.
Saute onions in olive oil in same pan until translucent.
Add tomato sauce and cook until combined and heated.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spoon a very very thin layer of sauce in bottom of baking dish.
Add single layer of eggplant.
Lightly spoon thin layer of sauce over eggplant and sprinkle with pecorino romano cheese.
Repeat layering, ending with sauce and cheese.
Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes.
Remove foil and bake 15 minutes.
Can be eaten as vegetable serving. Can be used to sauce pasta. Can add olives, roasted peppers to make caponata (MIL would also add raisins and toasted pine nuts). Can be eaten cold.
This has become one of my go-to quick dinners after work: cut eggplant (with peel is fine) into cubes, saute in non-stick pan with a bit of oil, diced onion and garlic. Add frozen sliced okra, a can of chick peas, and a jar of curry sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes or so. Serve with a raita, mango chutney, and naan.
I like a eggplant dish I have not been able to duplicate. It's a warm salad on a plate in a Moroccan restaurant.. It's always served with a carrot and a cucumber salads also. I'd like to have a recipe for all three but the eggplant is to die for. I do plan to try the eggplant and rabbit recipe and the eggplant in garlic.
I really love Eggplant Tagine. (Tagine is slow cooked Moroccan stew).
Here is one version:
I prefer coriander seeds instead of ground coriander. Sometimes I add chickpeas and/or red peppers as well. Yummy served with buttery couscous and some plain yogurt.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6346... is a recipe for vindaloo from Botch. I left out the cayenne pepper. After the whole thing (USING LAMB) started cooking, I cleaned up about a pound of about 2 inch diameter green eggplant (but any cut up eggplant should work other than the pencil-thin Japanese variety), quartered them, and added them to the dish, and let it cook for about 30 min. before mashing up the eggplant with a wooden spoon and letting it cook for about 15 min. longer than the original recipe. The eggplant cooked down into a wonderful sauce. Next I intend to try it with pork.
i love adding peeled, cubed eggplant to spaghetti sauce to cook down with the sauce. it gives a nice texture, extends the quantity without reducing flavor, and simply tastes great. tomato and eggplant are naturally good together -- same family, right-- the nightshades (capsicum (chilie pepper) is also in the nightshade family)!
that sauce can then be used to slather on some focaccia and stick under the broiler with some cheese. mmmmm!
another easy, country-style dish is just to make patties from the boiled and drained eggplant cubes, using cracker crumbs and an egg, plus seasoning. fry those babies up!
I recently roasted cubed (unpeeled) eggplant with mushrooms and shallots with a lil Braggs liq amino, oil, s&p and had that on toasted tuscan whole wheat bread with hummus, then lil fresh shaved parm on top. leftovers the next day were fantastic on a sandwich between two pieces of toasted bread.
I bet it would be great as an empanada maybe or like a calzone or even rolled in homemade pasta.
Eggplant parm is a favorite, but for something a bit lighter I like eggplant with peanut sauce; I have some in the fridge right now! Here's a recipe I adapted from Moosewood's Groundnut Stew: Saute a few cloves of garlic and a couple tbs of diced ginger in olive oil, add 2.5 tbs coriander and 1/2 tbs five spice powder, then 4 c chopped onions til soft; add 2 chopped tomatoes (or a 14 oz can of diced) and 4 c diced eggplant, stir and cook until very soft (about 30 min); add 3 c pre-cooked (roasted or steamed) diced sweet potatoes or winter squash. While that's cooking, mix 3/4 c chunky peanut butter with 1.5 tbs soy sauce, 1 tbs rice vinegar, 1 tbs water, and 1 tsp sriracha (or to taste). Pour the sauce into the eggplant mixture, stir, and serve over soba noodles - yum yum yum!
I love eggplant, too! My favourite recipe is my vegetarian variation of Eleanora Scarpetta's Eggplant Rollatini.
Flour for dusting
3 large eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2 medium-small eggplants (about 1 1/2 lbs) sliced lengthwise into 1/8 in slices
light olive oil for frying (I use a mandoline.)
1 lb fresh or processed whole milk ricotta cheese (if using processed ricotta, drain overnight by placing in a sieve set over a bowl in the refrigerator overnight)
4 Tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese
1/2 recipe quick Neapolitan marinara sauce (recipe follows), or 2 cups of your favourite marinara sauce
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place 2 of the eggs, salt, 1/2 tsp pepper and the Pecorino Romano cheese in a bowl and mix till blended.
Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet until hot but not smoking. Dip eggplant slices in flour, then in egg mixture. Fry eggplant slices in oil, about 2 minutes per side until golden. Remove to paper towels to drain. Let cool.
Mix drained ricotta with the remaining egg, mozzarella, parsley and 1/2 tsp of pepper. Set aside.
Place a slice of eggplant on a flat surface. Spread 1 rounded Tbsp of ricotta mixture on top. Beginning from the wider end, roll up eggplant from top to bottom. Repeat with all eggplant slices.
Pour 1 cup of marinara sauce and 1/2 cup water into an 8x12 or 9x13 in baking dish and mix. Place eggplant rolls side by side, seam side down on top of sauce. Pour remaining sauce over eggplant, cover and bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes before serving.
Quick Neopolitan Marinara Sauce
Makes about 1 quart
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
3 garlic cloves, pressed or finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 (35 oz) can whole plum tomatoes with juice, pureed in blender
2 Tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley
4-6 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
Heat olive oil in pan then sauté onion, garlic and salt until onions are softened.
Add rest of ingredients, cover partially and simmer, stirring occasionally for about 25 minutes.
1. If you want to make it by the original recipe, E.S. calls for 1/4 lb thinly sliced prociutto. A slice of prociutto is placed on each slice of eggplant before spreading on the cheese mixture.
2. If you want to skip the frying part, dip the eggplant in the flour/egg mixture then put it on a foil lined baking sheet under the broiler for a few minutes/each side. Watch it carefully so that it doesn't burn.
3. E.S. only uses half as much parsley in the cheese filling.
4. Originally the recipe called for peeling the eggplant, but I never do that.
5. I've never used her marinara sauce recipe as I always put up a lot of my own each summer.
Myo go-to recipe is a pasta sauce - salt and rinse eggplant, fry in olive oil, drain and then add to your basic tomato sauce - mine is onion, garlic, a little tomato paste, a healthy amount of red wine, tinned crushed tomatoes and whatever herbs I have around (usually basil and flat leafed parsley, sometimes all I have is dried oregano).
However the two dishes I wish I could have again are both beef and eggplant combinations - one was earlier this year in Turkey, some kind of deliciousness served up with lashings of creamy yoghurt, and the other was years ago in NZ - a beef and eggplant hotpot in a downtown Asian foodcourt that closed about 3 years ago. It was so cheap, and so good. The foodcourt was a total dive, but the food from most of the places was good.
I have to add my favorite - its an Iranian (Persian) dish called Mirza Ghasemi. I've seen it called Eggplant Soufflee. It can be served as an entree, hot and over rice, or as an appetizer/dip - cold or hot, with pita bread. Its relatively easy to make and gets better over time (so you can make it the night before and it will be heavenly the next night!). It was the first Iranian dish I learned to cook (I'm half Iranian) and still my favorite.
2 large eggplants
2 medium onions, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
2 TBSP butter or vegetable oil (not olive oil)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tomatoes (some people peel then by dropping into hot water for a few seconds to loosen skin - but to be honest I don't bother) and then chopped
3 eggs, lightly beaten
Roast the eggplant in 400 degree oven until brown on the outside and very soft on the inside (this part you can do however you like. Some people peel and slice it and bake it w/ some vegetable oil. Others peel/slice and then fry it on the stove. I like roasting it b/c its less fuss. Basically just get the eggplant cooked and soft.) Cool and scoop out the insides. Mash the pulp.
Sautee the onions in oil/butter 5-7 minutes over medium heat until they start to get translucent. Add the garlic and the turmeric and coat well. Add the eggplant, season with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and stir. Cook for 5-10 minutes over medium heat. Stir in eggs and keep stirring while they cook. Check for salt/pepper one more time.
Great ideas on this board. Here are two of my favorites as well:
Learned this method from a woman in Sicily. You can make a bunch and they keep covered in oil for about a month. Then you can pull some out when you need it. No canning necessary. Very convenient.
And eggplant Caviar of course.
I tested this recipe for this article and loved it.
the marinated eggplant reminded me of eggplant livia from Silver Palate:
1 lb. eggplant
1 c olive oil
2 dried red chiles
2 crushed garlic cloves
1/4 c red wine vinegar
2 T oregano
1 T basil
1 c oil for frying
Mix oil, chiles, garlic, vinegar, herbs.
Slice eggplant into 1/4 rounds. (You can salt it if you want. I don't.) Fry slices in oil in batches until brown. Drain. Add to marinade and refrigerate overnight.
*This is excellent in a sandwich with ricotta and some greens*
This one is unusual and yummy.
Stir-fried roasted eggplant -- adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
2 pounds eggplant
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (Aleppo works)
1 cup stock or borth
3 Tbsp mirin (rice wine) or sherry
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp balsamaic vinegar
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp roasted peanut oil --or sesame oil
1 bunch scallions
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
This is delicious and so easy to prepare. I roasted the eggplant earlier in the day (at 400 degrees, probably about 45 minutes). I cut up a big bunch of scallions, greens included, that I'd gotten at the farmers' market (cut into thin rounds). The eggplant has to cool, so there's a wait period there; the roasting and cooling are the only time-consuming parts of the recipe, and it's a snap to get that done earlier in the day as you do other stuff (or the day before, even).
When I got home, I pulled the skin off the cool eggplant, and pulled the flesh into 1-inch-thick strips. I prepared the sauce (also could be done ahead of time, but just took a minute or two) -- soy sauce, stock (I used chicken broth), soy sauce, rice wine (I used rice vinegar), balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, sugar.
Then I heated some sesame oil (she suggests peanut oil) and threw in scallions, garlic, ginger. Cook one minute, then add the eggplant. Cook two minutes, then a few plum tomatoes, chopped, and the sauce. Cook four to five minutes more and ready to serve!
This is delicious, with complex flavors for such an easy prep, and it tastes great with or without rice. I lived in China for a while, and I ate a similar eggplant dish nearly every day for lunch. I'm really pleased with the result here, and I think it's a fantastic light lunch and would definitely impress guests or be a great one to show a veggie (or non) looking for new ideas for eggplant.
I believe I have a recipe that no one has stated as of yet. I peel an eggplant, and don't sweat it, just cut in half and then cut slices about 1/4 in thick and fry in Olive oil until golden color, then layer with sauce first, then fried eggplant,sauce and then parm cheese and keep doing until you finish the eggplant top with parm cheese. Now you can eat it warm or refrigerate it until cold, and you must eat it with fresh italian bread, you can put some pieces on the bread if you like and just savor the flavor of this great recipe. It's actually Grandmas recipe. She was from Sicily. To me this recipe and eggplant parm and capanta a the best ways to eat egglplant, wow my mouth is watering I'm going out now to buy some eggplants. Try my recipe and let me know if you liked it.
My favorite two eggplant dishes are both Romanian.
Salata de vinete is a very simple, pure dish that is like baba ghanoug. You roast an eggplant on your gas range or a charcoal grill until its black and soft, then you break it open (using a wooden spoon so it doesnt discolor) and scoop out the pulp. You put the pulp in a bowl and mush it with the wooden spoon and then slowly begin to drip in sunflower oil while beating it. This is almost like making mayonnaise. When it becomes light and cohesive and the seeds are almost disappeared you can add some lemon and some chopped onion and salt. That's it. Serve it garnished prettily with bread. This is always a big hit.
The other is zacusca which is a lot harder to explain. Its like ajvar from the former Yugoslavia. Its a very slowcooked spread made from eggplant, onions, red pepper and tomatoes. People put it up for the winter.