Every once in a while, especially in fall and winter seasons, it's good to indulge in laziness .. so, today's recipe is a simple one, with only few ingredients and very easy to make, just like the cumin carrots you saw here a few weeks ago. Today I revive my for dummies recipes, giving some respite between more complicated ones and satisfying those who are looking for quick and versatile recipes … well, who isn't looking for quick recipes to please last-minute guests (but also "regular" commensals) and that also could be used in different ways?
So, here it is my eggplant and walnuts cream, a very personal and maybe questionable reworking of the beloved baba ghanouj, a Middle Eastern cream, also known as aubergine caviar, made with eggplant, tahini and garlic. Again, this is my interpretation but, without tahini and garlic, losses that make my cream perfect if spread on bread and canapé as appetizer, wonderful if used in gourmet sandwiches (ok, I'm dissolute), but also amazing to dress pasta, just adding some cheese. In short, a more Italic version, but very good and versatile. This doesn't mean I don't love original baba ghanouj: I could spread it on my breakfast cookies.
EGGPLANT AND WALNUTS CREAM
* 2-3 little eggplants
* extra-virgin olive oil
* 6-8 walnut kernels
* garlic (optional: it dipends on how you want to use this cream and if you like it or not)
Wash the eggplants and place them in a baking pan, riddle them with holes and then bake them in a 356° F (180° C) oven for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until soft. Pull them out of the oven, let them cool down a bit and then excavate them, putting their pulp in your blender. Then add walnuts (if you want you could use more than 6-8 kernels, garlic (if desired), season with salt and start blending, gradually adding some extra-virgin olive oil, until the mixture is creamy, but not too much: I think that you should feel the walnuts' texture.
Put the cream in a little bowl and serve, garnished with chopped walnuts and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
It's so good spread on canapé and toasts, but also delicious as pasta dressing: add just some cooking water from your pasta, some ricotta or, even better, some grated ricotta salata (hard savory ricotta).