Eggplant Puree with Roasted Garlic

1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 large eggplant, sliced in half lengthwise
3 cloves garlic, roasted (see Note)
1 small potato, about 2 ounces, peeled
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salt the eggplant with 1 teaspoon of the salt and place upside down on a rack for 1 hour so the bitterness will drain out.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the eggplant on a baking sheet, cut side down, and bake for 30 minutes until tender. See Note below on roasting garlic as the garlic can be roasted at the same time. Scoop out the meat from the skin. While the eggplant is roasting, boil the potato and set aside.

In a food processor or blender, combine the eggplant meat, the roasted garlic, basil, potato, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and the pepper. Process until smooth. Serve immediately.

Note: Roasted garlic is sweet and has a marvelous flavor. To roast the garlic: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a whole head of garlic on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the head of garlic, or until tender. Separate the cloves, they should pop out of the skin.

Makes 4 servings

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