Dorie Greenspan's Roasted Ginger-Eggplant Tartines 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Everyday Dorie Jan 20, 2017

Fresh ginger is the transformative ingredient in the silky spread that graces these open-faced, French-style sandwiches. The eggplant mixture also can be used as a dip.

Be sure to use thick slices of sturdy bread, toasted or not. The thin layer of sliced pear acts as a kind of moisture barrier. Dorie Greenspan likes the ginger to be coarsely chopped in this recipe, but you can of course grate it with a Microplane, if you prefer.

If you like garlic, see the VARIATION below.

Make Ahead: The eggplant spread can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days; its flavor may actually improve after a day's chill.


Servings:
4

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • For the eggplant spread
  • 3 1/2 pounds whole eggplants
  • 1/4 cup tahini (stir well before measuring)
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 4 scallions or 1 spring onion, trimmed and thinly sliced (white and light-green parts)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro and/or mint
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons peeled, coarsely chopped fresh ginger root (from a 3-inch piece)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground sumac (optional)
  • 1 lemon
  • Aleppo pepper or a smaller amount of ground cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
  • Tabasco or other hot sauce
  • Fine sea salt
  • For the tartine
  • 4 thick slices country bread (toasted, if you’d like)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 ripe pear, sliced very thinly (preferably using a mandoline)
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • 4 scallions or 2 spring onions, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • 8 radishes, trimmed and very thinly sliced
  • A small handful of butter lettuce or arugula
  • Pomegranate seeds (arils; optional)
  • Fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

For the spread: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or a piece of parchment paper.

Rinse the eggplants and prick them in several places with the tip of a paring knife. Set them on the baking sheet and roast (middle rack) until they are so soft that they collapse on themselves, 40 to 60 minutes, depending on their size. Allow them to cool to warm or room temperature on the sheet.

Slit the eggplant(s). If the seeds are large and prominent, you can remove them. Scrape the flesh into a bowl and mash it with a fork; you should have at least 2 cups of pulp. (If the pieces of eggplant seem long and unwieldy, just cut them using scissors or a paring knife.) Stir in the tahini and pomegranate molasses; once they’re incorporated, mix in the scallions or spring onion, the cilantro and/or mint, ginger and ground sumac, if you’re using it.

Grate the zest of the lemon into the bowl, stir and then squeeze in the juice from about half of the lemon. Add a pinch or two of the Aleppo pepper, cayenne or crushed red pepper flakes, a couple of shakes of hot sauce, a little salt, and then taste. You’ll probably want more lemon juice, but you might want more of other things, as well, so tinker.

At this point, you can use the eggplant spread or transfer it to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 3 days.

To assemble the tartines, lay out the slices of bread. Brush the top of each one lightly with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cover the bread with pear slices, overlapping the slices; sprinkle with lemon juice. Spread a thick layer of the eggplant over the pear layer, then finish the tartines with scatterings of scallions, radishes, greens and pomegranate seeds, if you’re using them.

Sprinkle with salt. Serve with a fork and sharp knife.

VARIATION: For more garlicky flavor in the eggplant spread, you can cut small slits in eggplants before roasting and insert slivers of garlic in them.

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Recipe Source

From cookbook author Dorie Greenspan.

Tested by Anne DiGiulio.

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