Charred Whole Eggplant, Summer Beans, and Muhamarra

Adapted by StarChefs.com
February 2016
Yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

Eggplant:
4 whole eggplants, punctured with 3 to 4 slits
Summer Beans:
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons salt
4 red onions, small diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1½ pounds black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and drained
Squash:
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 yellow squash, small diced
1 tablespoon salt
Muhammara:
1¾ cups olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly shaved
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
3 tablespoons Aleppo pepper
½ cup white wine vinegar
One 28-ounce can Alta Cucina whole peeled tomatoes
6 red peppers, roasted and small diced
½ pound hazelnuts, skin removed and toasted
1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
To Assemble and Serve:
¼ cup salt
½ cup olive oil

METHOD:

For the Eggplant

In a wood-burning oven heated and ready for service, roast eggplants 10 to 20 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat and cool.

For the Summer Beans

In a pot, combine olive oil, salt, red onions, and garlic. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until onions are opaque. Add black-eyed peas, pour in water to cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook 1 to 2 hours, until beans are tender.

For the Squash

Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Add olive oil, squash, and salt. Sauté squash until caramelized and softened.

For the Muhammara

In a large saucepan, heat ¼ cup olive oil. When oil is hot, add onion, garlic, and salt. When onion is opaque, add cumin, coriander, paprika, and 1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper. Stir 1 minute. Deglaze with vinegar. Reduce vinegar to au sec. Add tomatoes and red peppers. Lower heat and cook, stirring constantly until most of the water has evaporated and mixture resembles a paste. Smash tomatoes with a spoon to release juices. Remove pan from heat and let cool to room temperature. When cool, transfer mixture to food processor with hazelnuts, pomegranate molasses, and remaining Aleppo pepper and olive oil. Process to thick paste.

To Assemble and Serve

With Eggplants on their sides, slice a canoe-shape into the skin; discard skin cut-outs. Season insides of eggplants with 1 tablespoon salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil per eggplant. In the wood-burning oven, flash eggplant 3 to 5 minutes, until insides caramelize. Remove from oven and fill eggplants with Summer Beans, Squash, and teaspoon-size dollops of Muhammara.