...is the name of a wonderful book edited by Jenni Ferrari-Adler. Subtitled 'Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone,' the book is filled with essays from writers and foodies, including Marcella Hazan, Nora Ephron, and Amanda Hesser among others. I think of this book quite a bit when I'm home cooking for myself. I love how these people admit to making strange concoctions, sharing their recipes, or admitting to the world that there's nothing wrong with the occasional can of Spaghetti O's.
I find myself alone in the kitchen with eggplant--literally--on a regular basis. One of the grocery stores that I shop usually have eggplant on sale inexpensively. I picked up another pair this past weekend since they were two for a dollar. I'm not talking about those small Indian eggplant, these are hefty vegetables. I'm still experimenting with uses for eggplant, but since I'm close to obsessed with baba ganoush, it's what I make more times than not.
I have no hard and fast rules for what goes into this recipe except for roasted eggplant, minced garlic, and a couple of tablespoons of tahini. I'll see what's in the Italian Pantry and add as the mood strikes. This version leaned towards Mediterranean with the addition of olive juice. I had a huge jar of Seville olives and after the olives were gone, I still had a jar of juice. The juice was an excellent addition to the dip along with an excuse for a dirty martini (as if I needed one).
Roasted Eggplant Dip
(Makes about 1 1/2 cups)
2 large eggplant
2 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive juice
salt and pepper, to taste
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice eggplant in half lengthwise and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. I don't draw the moisture out first, as I like the juice produced from the roasting. Roast eggplant for about 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and scoop eggplant out of skins. Add eggplant, tahini, olive juice, and minced garlic to blender or food processor. Puree until smooth, slowly drizzling in olive oil to reach desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with baked pita chips, baguette slices, or crackers.