Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Eggplant Beet Antipasto

Okay, so not really antipasto in any way except that it included peperoncini, but it wasn't exactly salad either, so I'm calling it antipasto.  We'd gotten some beets from the farmers market, and I had in mind a middle eastern flavored salad, so I bought an eggplant.  We were going to roast the beets and eggplant, but it's been hot here in DC, so we scaled back to stovetop sauteing. 

Antipasto Salad
Eggplant/Beet Stuff:
1 medium eggplant, peeled, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1 head fresh garlic (from farmers market), chopped roughly
Beets, peeled, sliced 1/4 inch thick, then chopped roughly
1.5 TBS Za'atar spice mix (got mine from Georgetown's spice shop!)
4 Tbs tomato paste
1/3 cup ajvar
2 tbs olive oil
1-1.5 TS cumin
salt to taste
water as needed

Saute the garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes over medium heat  Add the eggplant and beets and about 3 Tbs of water to prevent sticking.  Cover for 5 minutes, check and add more water if needed.  Add ajvar, za'atar, cumin, and tomato paste, with enough additional water to prevent sticking, and stir it around.  Lower heat slightly, and let cook covered for another 10 minutes, then check on it, add water if needed, salt to taste, and then cover and cook maybe another 5-10 minutes.  You don't want the beets to be perfectly soft, just soft enough that its not unpleasant to eat them, they should still have a firm-esque bite to them, surrounded by more tender flesh.

Once the beets are the right consistency, add any additional ajvar, salt, cumin, or za'atar as you see fit.  Set aside to cool.

Other stuff:
black olives
ww toast
chopped carrots

To assemble:  Place clean, dried lettuce on one part of the plate, then two dollops of hummous, a few black olives, 2 peperoncini, and then in one section, your eggplant/beet mixture topped with a handful of chopped carrots.  Toast a piece of bread to go with it.  Now you can enjoy bites of lettuce, beet/eggplant, hummous in one forkful, or put the eggplant/beet mix along with some hummous on your toast.  Its really yum!

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