Friday, April 3, 2009

Farm Kitchen: Flame-Roasting Eggplants

Adapted from The Book of New Israeli Food by Janna Gur (Schocken, 2008)

Roasting eggplants on an open flame can be messy, but is definitely worth the effort, as the smoky aroma adds immensely to the taste.

First, line your stovetop with aluminum foil.

Place a whole eggplant (or more than one if you are confident) on a rack over the open flame and roast, turning occasionally, until the skin is scorched and blackened, and the flesh feels soft when pierced with a wooden skewer or a fork.

The eggplant can also be broiled in the oven, or grilled on a charcoal barbecue.

Cool slightly (to aoid burning your hands) and peel, carefully removing every last bit of scorched skin, or cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh with a wooden spoon.

Ideally, roasted eggplant should be served shortly after roasting, and seasoned while still warm to ensure optimal absorption of every spicy nuance. But if you need to store it for later, drain the roasted flesh of excess liquid, cover with oil and refrigerate.

Season before serving.

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