Smoky Aubergine Pate

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Aubergine Pate aubergine
Photo: Matt Sativa

Smoky Aubergine Pate
Yield: 2 cups
Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: You should be able to knock this one out the park

Aubergines, egg plants or brinjals are some versatile vegetables. No matter what you call them, they can be prepared in a large variety of ways. They are loved all over the globe and they frequently feature in many nations’ traditional meals. They can be roasted, curried, pickled, grilled, broiled, fried, stir fried and even cooked over an open flame. The following recipe is super easy and requires only a few simple ingredients.

This dish can be eaten en croute, left in a bowl as a dip or as a topping for baked flaky fish or large baked black mushrooms.

I call this recipe Smoky Aubergine Pate.

Ingredients:
2 large or 3 medium sized fresh aubergines
3 cloves of garlic unpeeled
¾ fl. oz. canna-oil (adjust potency to the level of elevation you wish to achieve)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp. fresh ground cumin

Equipment:
Oven
Blender (stick or bowl blender)
Gas burner (on the stove) or a wood fire or blow torch
Tongs
Roasting pan

Method:
Preheat your oven to 356°F

Using any of the flame sources described above, place the aubergine directly onto the flame. The idea here is to burn or char the skin of the aubergine on all sides. Yes, it should smoke a bit. Keep rotating the aubergine until as much of the skin has blistered as possible. You are not cooking them, just burning the skin.

Once the skins have been charred or scorched, place them into a roasting pan and add the garlic cloves whole.

Roast this until both the garlic and aubergines are soft and cooked through. This should take between 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly to handle it.

Cut the aubergines into halves and scrape the flesh away from the burnt skin. It does not matter if you get a few tiny flakes of the skin in with the flesh, it will just add to the smokiness of the pate.

Set the flesh aside and discard the skins. Using a sharp knife, nip the tips off the garlic and squeeze it into the bowl of aubergines. It should squeeze out like toothpaste.

Add in the ground cumin.

Using a blender of your choice, puree the aubergines and garlic until you achieve a smooth consistency.

Stir in the canna-oil.

Season to taste with salt and pepper from a grinder.

Go easy when tasting, remember it’s infused.

Allow to cool.

To serve:
Slice some fresh baguette or whichever bread is your favorite, into ½ inch slices. I chose baguette because the slices are uniform and perfect size for making croutes and, they give a smarter look when entertaining.

To make the croutes, add a tablespoon of oil or butter to a pan over medium to high heat. Place the slices in the pan and fry each side until golden brown. Place onto paper towel to drain.

To plate them, add a tablespoon of pate onto each croute. Garnish to suite the occasion. Your imagination is the only limit when it comes to garnish. The only rule is it must be edible.

You could also place the pate into bowls and serve with crackers or spread a generous layer on top of some white fish before baking it in the oven.

Whatever you decide to do, enjoy this smokey treat.