Recipes that do double duty help cooks save time. A roasted chicken serves as dinner one night and its leftovers become chicken salad or a stir-fried filling in a wrap for lunch. Today's recipe for an eggplant spread makes a great snack with pita wedges, a condiment for a veggie wrap or a smooth sauce for pasta.
Eggplant can be peeled, cubed and roasted until tender, but using the oven method for winter squash saves time. Roast eggplant in the same way as butternut or acorn squash. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, put it cut-side down on a baking pan and bake in the oven until the skin is slightly charred and the flesh is tender.
There is room for variation in this recipe. If you like foods with texture, pulse the ingredients in a food processor until chunky — or let it run until the spread is pureed and smooth. Likewise, red pepper flakes or hot sauce will add a kick, but the cook controls the intensity of that bite by adding heat to taste.
>>2 medium eggplants, cut in half lengthwise
>>1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
>>3 cloves garlic, peeled
>>2 tablespoons olive oil
>>1 (7-ounce) jar roasted red peppers
>>1/4 cup sliced almonds
>>1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
>>1 tablespoon lemon juice
>>1 teaspoon cumin
>>1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
>>1 teaspoon smoked paprika
>>Kosher salt to taste
>>Red pepper flakes or hot sauce to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a roasting pan with aluminum foil. Place the eggplant, cut-side down, in the pan. Add the onion and garlic to the pan. Drizzle eggplant, onion and garlic with olive oil. Roast until the eggplant can be pierced easily with a fork, about 30 to 40 minutes. Cool until eggplant can be handled easily. With a spoon, scoop the flesh into the bowl of a food processor along with the roasted onion and garlic. Add the parsley, lemon juice and spices, and process to a chunky or smooth consistency, depending on preference. Stir in salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Serve with pita wedges or pita chips. Makes 3 cups.