July 28, 2009 | Appetizers
I was back in the gardens yesterday at Fairmont Dual Immersion Academy helping this Denver Public School with their Seed to Table school garden project. Every other Monday I’ve been cooking with the student farmers, helping them select something to harvest and then creating a few recipes from what we pick.
These two cuties are student gardeners but also some of my most enthusiastic cooks, usually running to the table to help set up and begging to be first to use the knife on something. (Their knife skills are getting pretty good after only three lessons!)
Just as I arrived yesterday, some of the kids were getting a bit of a lecture by the teacher because in their weeding diligence they had pulled up a whole bed of these blossoming nasturtiums. The teacher was less than pleased! We had some eggplant leftover from the kids’ market (check it out on Saturday mornings at the school) and none of them had ever had eggplant, so I decided to make this dip to see how they liked it – turns out this was their favorite recipe of the day!
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large eggplant, peeled and diced
- 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- ¼ cup minced green onions or chives
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add eggplant and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking until eggplant is completely softened, about 5 more minutes. Puree in a food processor or, if you want to remove all the seeds, pass through a food mill. Add remaining ingredients, adjusting seasoning to your taste. Stir in green onions or chives and serve with pita chips for dipping.