Moroccan Eggplant with Cilantro, Ginger and Garlic
- Yield: 6 servings
- 6 small eggplants
- 1 tbs freshly grated ginger
- 1/8 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 bunch cilantro, including stems and flowers
- 1tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 5 tbs olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 to 4 cloves garlic
- 1 French baguette, sliced diagonally, 1/4-inch thick
- 2 doz borage, pansies, cilantro flowers or other delicate edible flowers for garnish
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil.
- Rub eggplants with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Place them in the pan.
- Prick eggplants all over with the tines of a fork.
- Roast for 50 minutes to 1 1/2 hours or until eggplants collapse and are very soft. (Better to over than undercook.) Remove from oven and let cool completely. Peel off skins and cut off stem ends and coarsely chop eggplant.
- Place cilantro, garlic, ginger, the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/8 cup water and lime juice into a blender. Whirl until smooth.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Lay bread slices on a baking sheet and broil until golden brown on both sides. When cool enough to handle, brush both sides with olive oil.
- One one side, rub garlic over the toasts to “grate” it.
- Place a mound of eggplant on each plate. Top with the cilantro sauce.
- Surround with fresh cilantro leaves and flowers, pansies and borage flowers. If desired, dot the top with more edible flowers.
- Serve with crostini.
*From Katharine Kagel, owner and chef of Cafe Pasqual’s