Here’s another holiday party recipe,

compliments of Elizabeth W. Gift Baskets.

Happy entertaining!

BABA GHANOUJ

Let’s face it. This creamy Middle Eastern eggplant dip is just not very pretty to look at. But it’s too delicious to let that keep you from serving it. My strategy is to garnish it with something green and serve it in small portions, surrounded by pretty tidbits. Here, I’ve given each guest a little individual cutting board (found them at a yard sale!) with a small bowl of Baba Ghanouj, a small knife, a wedge of aged Manchego, a few olives and a handful of smoked almonds. Pass warm pita or crackers to spread the Baba Ghanouj on.

INGREDIENTS

1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

3 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

juice of ½ lemon

1/3 cup tahini

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1 large clove garlic, peeled and smashed

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the eggplant cubes on a large baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons of the oil, the pepper and half of the salt. Arrange the cubes in a single layer and roast, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Put the cooled eggplant, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, garlic, and the rest of the salt in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Serve with crackers or warm pita.

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Crispy Eggplant Tapas

November 2, 2009

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Celebrate the beginning of the holiday season with another party recipe,

compliments of Elizabeth W. Gift Baskets!

CRISPY EGGPLANT TAPAS

When entertaining during the holidays, it’s sometimes fun to serve lots of little plates with an assortment of small samplings of several dishes, rather than serving a traditional appetizer-main course-dessert type menu. If you’re planning a tapas get-together this dish is a good one to include. It’s kind of a low-cal, bite-sized version of Eggplant Parmesan. Of course, you could add a few calories and a lot of flavor by topping each serving with a slice of fresh mozzarella or some shaved Parmesan!

INGREDIENTS

1 large eggplant

3 cups fresh breadcrumbs, preferably whole wheat

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan

a generous pinch each of salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper

1 egg white

olive oil cooking spray

prepared marinara sauce, warmed

DIRECTIONS

Cut the eggplant into ½ inch slices. Place a large colander in the sink. Salt both sides of each slice and arrange them in the colander. Let them sit for about 20 minutes until they begin to sweat and give up their liquid. (This takes any bitterness away.)

Meanwhile, in a large, shallow bowl or baking dish, mix together the fresh breadcrumbs, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg white and 1 tablespoon of water.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Press the eggplant slices between paper towels to dry them off. Cut each slice in half. Dip slices into the egg white, then into the breadcrumb mixture to coat. Arrange coated slices on the prepared baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, turning once, until slices are brown and crispy on both sides.

To serve, place 1 or 2 hot eggplant slices on a small plate and top with warm marinara sauce.

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