I hate to post two recipes with the same ingredient back to back, but I feel compelled to by my sheer love for the eggplant! Known as Melanzane in Italian, a word derived from the Latin mala insana, or "mad apple" because it was originally thought to be poisonous, being a member of the nightshade family which includes the deadly belladonna and jimson weed.Technically the eggplant is a Fruit, due to the fact that it has seeds. if you want to learn more about eggplant check out this link to vegparadise.com, for more information than you will ever need.
In the process of looking up more information about eggplant I found out that in some middle eastern cultures eggplant is so prominent that it can be served in every course. In one story a foreign visitor in a Middle Eastern country, after eating a large meal asked for, "just plain water, if you please, without eggplant." Which brings me to my recipe for today, a marriage of two middle eastern staples; eggplant and chickpeas: roasted eggplant hummus.
Hummus makes a great appetizer or snack, it's inexpensive, quick and easy to make. Hummus has large amounts of iron and vitamin C, It also is a good source of protein and dietary fiber. I've got to admit that not everyone loves hummus, it seems to be one of those "love it or hate it" things. Some people are crazy about it there is even a blog only about hummus! The first time I heard of it was when I was 17 years old and I was working at a health food stand called The Juicery in the middle of Delaware park in Buffalo. It was part of my job to mix huge batches of Hummus. We served it on pita bread with feta cheese and an awesome Miso dressing (which I would kill to get my hands on!) I worked at the Juicery for two years and never liked the hummus at all, and frankly didn't understand it, or why anyone would like it. Well luckily my experience with food and my palate has grown since then, and I've come to appreciate it for the rich and tasty food that it is.
Roasted Eggplant Hummus
1 15 oz can chickpeas- rinsed and drained OR 2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled, and chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley OR 1tsp dried parsley
• Wash Eggplant, lay sideways on the cutting board, remove the stem and cut 5 or 6 thin round slices (1/8")
• Sprinkle salt and pepper and rub olive oil on each side of the pieces, place on a baking rack and place under the broiler for about 3-4 minutes on each side, remove before it burns. Set aside.
• Combine all of the ingredients, including the eggplant in a food processor.
• Run the food processor, until all of the ingredients mix together, if it's too dry to turn add a little water until it processes.
• Serve with corn chips or potato chips or fresh veggies, enjoy!