Monday, December 12, 2011

Shakshouky

Every year my group at work has a holiday party, and every year I like to take the opportunity to show off my culinary chops, especially since more and more folks are bringing store-bought food. There's usually at least one vegetarian around, so I try to be nice and prepare something that they can enjoy. The thing is - we have limited fridge space and only two microwaves with which to reheat food, so, ideally, I need to make a dish that needs neither refrigeration nor warming.

I usually end up making the same brownies or Asian noodles (that I can keep plenty cold on the windowsill in my office), but this year I wanted to do something completely different. I got my inspiration from my birthday dinner, a selection of mezze at Lebanese Taverna; my favorite dish of the evening was shakshouky, a cold salad of eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes, seasoned with lots of garlic and olive oil. Served on LT's warm pita bread, it was an absolute delight.

After determining that both resident vegetarians enjoy eggplant, I poked around online and found Lebanese Taverna's recipe, which I modified to make up for my lack of pomegranate molasses. I made a test batch to try at home, and it was a roaring success. Let's hope they love it at tomorrow's party.

Shakshouky

1 eggplant
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
1/2 jarred roasted red bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic mashed with a pinch of salt
teaspoon of honey
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

Preheat oven to 350F. Cut eggplant in half from top to bottom and place, face down, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 40 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Scrape eggplant into the bowl of a food processor. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and puree. Place eggplant into a bowl; add the remaining oil, the scallions, bell pepper, lemon juice, garlic, and honey. Mix well. Add salt and pepper and taste for seasonings, adding more lemon juice if necessary. Stir in pomegranate seeds.

Serve on bread-like substance of your choice.

Posted by theminx on Minxeats.com.