Roasted Eggplant Spread
Roasted eggplant has always been a standard and favorite at all our Jewish holidays for as long as I can remember. Memories of my grandfather's (John "Beepa" Silver & Grace "Meema" Silver pictured above) home grown eggplants and green peppers are vivid in my thoughts as I recollect his descriptive and thorough process of creating his notable eggplant recipe. As of today, my mom thrives on recreating his chopped eggplant dish for every Jewish holiday while making sure each eggplant's size and shape will give the perfect result. I have come to notice over the years, we follow more or less the same recipe from my grandfather, but the end results always have a very distinct personal taste, both tasting extremely delicious! If you follow this simple recipe, you will be very satisfied!
2 large eggplants
1 large onion, quartered
1 large green pepper, cored and quartered
1 jalapeno, finely chopped, optional or
red pepper flakes, sprinkle as desired, optional
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon ground salt
1. Turn the grill or oven on to the desired roasting temperature. Place the eggplant in an aluminum roasting pan or on a tray lined with aluminum foil. Roast the eggplant, turning occasionally until the outer skin is crisply charred on all sides and easy falls off when touched. Remove from grill or oven, puncture a hole in the eggplant, releasing the steam, set aside and cool.
2. While the eggplant is roasting, steam green pepper, onion and jalapeño (optional) on the stovetop. When finished, set aside and cool. Alternatively, the peppers and onion can be roasted in a separate aluminum pan in the oven or on the grill together with the eggplants.
3. With a knife, slit the eggplant down the middle and drain liquid. The eggplant tastes best when completely drained since the liquid is very bitter.
4. Once drained, combine eggplant in a food processor together with the steamed or roasted vegetables. Roughly chop. Adjust seasoning, salt and oil according to desired taste.