Saturday, July 19, 2008

Grilled Eggplant-Tomato Dip and Fava Bean Spread

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
So here is an idea, go to the farmer’s market, or if you are lucky enough, go to your garden and pick some tomatoes and eggplants and herbs and make a dip. Easy, fast and delicious, make some pita crisps or croustades, then
open some wine — that’s entertainment. Here are 2 great dip recipes:

Grilled Eggplant-Tomato Dip

2 cups wood chips, hickory or apple wood
1 1/2 pounds of eggplant (2 medium) skinned and cut into 1/3 rounds
2 ripe tomatoes (1 1/2 pounds) cut into 1/3 rounds
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons Tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons roast garlic puree
2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 teaspoons finely ground and toasted cumin seeds

Light up your outside or stovetop grill or smoker or heat up your oven to 450. I have a gas grill, so I soak 2 cups of wood chips in water for one hour, and then sprinkle them on top of the fire and I'm ready to go. Brush the tomato and eggplant slices with olive oil and place on the grill rack preferably about 6 inches above the flame. Turn till lightly browned, about 10 minutes total. Now cool to room temp and coarsely chop tomato and eggplant. In a food processor, combine chopped vegetables with tahini, lemon, garlic puree, salt, sesame oil, and Tabasco and process till almost smooth. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Serve at room temp with chopped parsley mixed in; adjust salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle top with cumin seed. Don’t forget something to dip with, besides your fingers.

Fava Bean Spread

1 pound fresh Fava beans in the pod
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped basil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped 1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Remove the beans from the pods; you should have 1 1/2 cups. Bring a small pan of water to the boil. Add the beans and cook for 3-5 minutes till tender, stirring on occasion. Drain, rinse, and cool to room temperature. In a food processor, combine all ingredients. Stop and scrape down sides of the bowl so you get a smooth puree. Adjust seasoning and serve immediately. This is best if it is never refrigerated. It can sit at room temp for 2 hours.