This dip or amuse bouche or amuse gueule (on a cracker or toast round) is straight out of Julia (MAFC II p. 353), except you nuke the eggplant in its skin instead of baking it in its skin. That means you have to find small eggplants so it will cook in 5 minutes--about 8 ounces each. It keeps two days and freezes beautifully. You can double the recipe easily, but again you must use small eggplants or microwave them longer (then you are into 14 minute territory. Horrors!).
Makes about 24 cracker toppers
Two small eggplants, totaling about one pound
4 ounces walnuts (pieces are fine but some whole ones for garnish is nice)
1/2 teaspoon salt
four turns of a pepper mill
2 large cloves, peeled
2-3 squirts tabasco
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
2/8 teaspoon powdered ginger
4 tablespoons olive oil
- Cut off the green ends from the eggplants and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
- In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, chop the garlic. Then add the rest of the ingredients except the olive oil and process one second to mix.
- Prepare the crackers or toasts and get out an oven mitt.
- When the eggplant is done, using the oven mitt, halve each lengthwise and with a spoon scrape out the flesh.
- Add it to the processor bowl and process until grainy but blended, about 8 to 12 seconds, adding the olive oil in a stream.
- Spoon a bit on each cracker or toast, and garnish with optional walnut halves. Or simply serve in a bowl as a spread.