But these waxing descriptions aren't about bragging for me, it's about taking time to celebrate things that are beautiful and good. The ho-hum of everyday is filled with so many functional conversations, so there is something refreshing about pontificating for a moment on the humble paper plate filled with my own personal expression of passion, color and outrageous flavor.
I think that's just it... it's personal for me. Ask me about what I'm cooking and it's probably a good window into my life on any given day. Perhaps I reveal too much, but you can rest assured, if I'm cooking, I'm happy and maybe that's why I get so geeked about leftovers. Now, if I'm eating my 4th day in a row of Jimmy John's delivery with a Diet Coke... steer clear.
But let's focus on what's good in the world and that's good leftovers. This recipe I picked up from Plenty, by Yottam Ottolenghi, was one of the better bits of leftovers I've had in awhile. Enjoy as a dip or in a salad. The tart pop of pomegranate is restaurant-caliber flavor and worthy of tracking down pomegranate molasses for.
Eggplant Pomegranate Dip
1 large eggplant or 2 small eggplants
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic glove, minced
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 cup seedless cucumber, chopped (optional, but good if you want to make more substantial)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (optional, but good if you want to make more substantial)
Heat oven broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with foil and pierce the eggplants all over with a fork. Broil eggplants, turn occasionally for 1 hour. They should be burnt and black on the outside.
Cool eggplants until you can handle them, then slice in half and scoop out the flesh. Roughly chop and place in colander for 30 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, combine drained eggplant with tahini, water, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Stir in cucumber and tomato, if you choose.
Garnish with pomegranate seeds and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with flatbread or crackers and enjoy.
Recipe inspired by Yottam Ottolenghi's PLENTY -- a simply fantastic cookbook.