Gingered Eggplant Spread

Gingered Eggplant Spread

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Recipe by Stephen Pavy

Serves: 24 in a buffet

Serve with Joseph Phelps Vineyards Viognier

1/3 cup

Unhulled sesame seeds

Peanut oil, as needed to brush eggplant plus 2 Tbsp. for garlic and ginger

4 lbs. Japanese eggplant
2 Tbsp. Finely minced ginger
4 tsp. Finely minced garlic
¼ cup Dark soy sauce
¼ cup Sugar
2 Tbsp. Distilled white vinegar
4 tsp. Pale dry sherry
4 tsp. Oriental sesame oil

Preheat broiler

Toast sesame seeds over moderate heat in dry skillet until fragrant and lightly browned.  Reserve 2 Tbsp. for garnish. 

Slice eggplant into halves, longitudinally.  Brush cut side of eggplant with peanut oil to coat.  Lay eggplant slices cut side facing up on cookie sheets.  Broil (eggplant should be 3 - 4 inches from broiler) for several minutes until browned.  Turn eggplant over and brush skin side with peanut oil to coat.  Place back under broiler for a couple of minutes until soft.  Allow eggplant to cool.

Sauté garlic and ginger in 2 Tbsp. peanut oil in small skillet.

Place eggplant in cuisinart, add sesame seeds (aside from the 2 Tbsp. reserved), garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, sherry, and sesame oil and pulse until ingredients are blended but eggplant is still chunky.  Eggplant can be served immediately, kept at room temperature for a couple of hours, or refrigerated for up to 48 hours before serving. Bring to room temperature if refrigerated.  Sprinkle reserved sesame seeds over eggplant just before serving.

Hint: Leftover eggplant will save for several days in refrigerator; it makes a nice side dish as well as a spread.