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Information Provided by HappyCow's Vegetarian Guide (www.HappyCow.net):


Eggplant Sundried Tomato Spread

Ingredients:
2 pounds eggplant
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 large cloves roasted garlic, chopped
½ cup oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, chopped
½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
½ cup fresh basil, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
salt to taste
pinch cayenne pepper


Instructions:
Peel the eggplant and cut into 1-inch cubes. Sauté the eggplant in the olive oil until tender, about 15 or 20 minutes on medium heat. This is a lot of eggplant to cook so unless you have a gigantic frying or sauté pan it will take two batches to cook it all. If you do it in two batches, use 3-tablespoons olive oil for the first batch and 3-tablespoons for the second. The eggplant will soak up the olive oil as it cooks. This adds flavor.

When the eggplant is cool, combine the balance of the ingredients with the eggplant and blend them together. Use a blender on pulse, or mash by hand. It will take a few trips to the blender to get it all mashed up. If using a blender, be sure to pour all blended ingredients into a large bowl and then mix the batches together until all ingredients are well blended.

Refrigerate this for one hour before serving (though not necessary). Use as a spread on crostini or use as a dip with your favorite cracker.

Facts of interst:
If the eggplant from the local market is neither oval in shape nor white like an egg… why is it called an egg plant?According to the website "Bite Size of Amazing Facts" the first eggplants to reach European chefs during the Middle Ages were a rare white species, oval in shape. They did, indeed, resemble an egg and therefore the name "eggplant" was born and perpetuated even when other varieties (including oblong purple ones) made their appearance.

Eggplants are low in calories, provide a fair amount of protein and fiber and are relatively low in carbohydrates. They contain no fat or cholesterol. And when combined with sundried tomatoes, roasted garlic and fresh herbs… the overall flavor is amazing.



Number Servings: 2 cups
Time to prepare: 40 mins
recipe contributed by: rgraham33

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