In a recent blog, I shared five tips for pairing wine with Middle Eastern cuisine (http://blog.vinesse.com/2013/10/14/5-wine-pairing-tips-for-middle-eastern-cuisine/).
A few blog followers wrote in that they’d like to try that sometimes-tricky pairing challenge, and asked for a recipe to get them started. So, for your weekend cooking pleasure, here is a recipe that will keep you in the kitchen for a while, enabling you to enjoy a glass of wine during the prep period.
The spice in this dish cries out for a refreshing beverage — lemonade, tea or beer. And that’s what many people sip with it.
But don’t discount wine; just be sure to opt for one defined not so much by its flavor as by its acidity. Dependable choices include Sauvignon Blanc, Sangiovese and sparkling wine.
This recipe yields 8 servings.
• 3 medium-sized eggplants
• 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
• 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
• 3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
• 3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
• 1/8 teaspoon chile powder
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• Half-bunch cilantro leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Prick each eggplant a few times, then char their outsides by placing them directly on the flame of a gas burner. As the skin chars, turn them until the eggplants are uniformly charred on the outside. Note: A broiler also may be used.
3. Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until they’re completely soft.
4. Remove from oven and let cool.
5. Split the eggplant and scrape out the pulp. Puree the pulp in a blender or food processor with the other ingredients until smooth.
6. Season with additional salt and lemon juice, if necessary.
7. Drizzle with olive oil, and serve with toasted pita chips.