We're getting towards late summer here in Georgia, and while it may be hot, that means we've got lots of local veggies growing at their peak! One of our favorites: eggplant.
There are so many gorgeous varieties, it's hard to name them all. Especially fun to point out is the fairytale eggplant; a tiny, adorable heirloom eggplant with purple and white streaks. There's also the Indian eggplant, which is shown in the photo above and sometimes affectionally nicknamed a 'baby' eggplant because of its size. And don't forget Chinese eggplants! They're the long thin ones with a light lavender color, shown in the photo at the very bottom of this page. These are very similar to Japanese eggplants, which tend to have the same shape but are a much deeper purple.
So what do you do with all of these eggplants? Roast 'em! We look forward each summer to roasting eggplants and puréeing them with spices and lemon juice to make a really spectacular and versatile eggplant spread. The recipe is below, and it's incredibly easy. Enjoy!
This recipe makes enough for about 2 servings.
- 2 cups eggplant
- 2 pitas
- 1 lemon
- 1 Tbsp fresh parsley
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp ground sumac
- salt & pepper
- olive oil
1. PREHEAT OVEN & ROAST EGGPLANT
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Dice eggplant
- On a baking sheet, toss eggplant in 1 Tbsp olive oil and salt & pepper
- Roast eggplant in oven 18—20 min until tender, tossing halfway through
2. WARM PITAS & MAKE EGGPLANT SPREAD
- Juice lemon
- Once eggplants are roasted, place pitas in oven to warm
- In a food processor or blender, combine eggplant with lemon juice, parsley (stems and all), garlic, sumac, 3 Tbsp olive oil, and salt & pepper to taste, then purée until smooth
3. GARNISH & GATHER
- Cut pitas into 6 triangles (like a pizza) and use to dip into your eggplant spread, or cut pitas in half and spread purée inside and top with anything you'd like (we recommend ground beef and chopped tomatoes if you're not sure where to start)