Eggplant Tapenade

September 4, 2007

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Serve this addictive eggplant dip as an appetizer, and it might just segue into an easy meal. SAM

1 large globe eggplant
1 tablespoon water
1 large roasted red bell pepper
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
2 teaspoons capers, drained
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon hot curry powder or more to taste
1/2 cup tahini
2 tablespoons canned tuna, if desired
2 medium cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Sea salt to taste

Cut the eggplant in half and place cut-side down in an 8- by 8-inch baking pan. Add the water, cover with plastic wrap, leaving one corner open, and microwave on high for 9 to 10 minutes or until collapsed. Microwave longer in 1- or 2-minute intervals, if necessary. Cool and scrap from the skin into the bowl of a food processor or a mixing bowl. Add the roasted pepper, olives, capers, cumin, curry powder, tahini, tuna, garlic, oil, and lemon juice. Pulse 5 or 6 times with the food processor or an immersion blender until roughly pureed. Season with salt. Serve with crackers, chips, or pita.
Makes 2 cups.