Spicy Eggplant Pate

I’ve got an overbearing eggplant bush. Not necessarily a problem – just nudges me to create outside the stir-fry zone. Which is great for this kind of eggplant we’re growing – the Listada de Gandia – a Spanish variety that has a bit thicker skin than Italian and Japanese kinds. We got our plant start from One Song farm so it’s likely you can find the eggplant for purchase at the Saturday Farmers Market. Give this recipe a go – it’s wildly versatile – and doesn’t require much more than a touch of salt, olive oil and lemon juice. The spice obviously comes from the *optional habanero, we grow a super hot yummy chocolate habanero that Pat Grenz gifted us from Pat’s Taco.

Preparing the eggplant:

  • Take a bushel of eggplants – preferably a round variety like the Listada, cut the stem off and place on a large cast iron pan over medium high heat
  • Cover if possible so the eggplants sear and steam simultaneously
  • Turn each eggplant over and sear all over – this may take up to 30-45 minutes, they should be nice and soft when finished
  • Remove the cover and allow the eggplants to cool
  • skin each eggplant and compost the skins, reserving the soft inner flesh

For the Pate:

  • take a few cloves of garlic and a 1/2 cup (or so) of parsely – mince in your food processor with the S blade, or alternatively on your cutting board
  • add one chocolate habanero (optional) pulse again
  • take 1/2 the eggplant and process with the garlic mixture
  • start drizzling good quality olive oil in to help it blend, stop when it’s thoroughly mixed
  • add the last 1/2 of the eggplant, a bit more olive oil, salt, pepper and the juice of one lemon – stop processing once the mixture is smooth and pate-esk.

Feel free to mix up the herbs, omit the spice, use more lemon juice, add olives or capers (yum) – whatever you choose. Ultimately you’re using your eggplant as a medium here, and anything goes. Enjoy – with celery, veggie chips or as a sandwich spread with grilled chicken or pork.