Many thanks to everyone that was able to join us this last Saturday for food and music, and also to our hosts on Foucher St. for opening up their beautiful home to such a large crowd. Our next food+music event will be on the first Saturday in November at an Esplanade Ridge house, but make sure to check in before then for other events taking place this month. Here’s the recipe for one of the sauces that we served on top of polenta (see menu below). The flavor of roasted eggplants is wonderful in and of itself, but works even better in combination with the acidity of tomatoes, the richness of toasted walnuts and the fire of hot peppers.
Ingredients: eggplant, onions, hot peppers, red wine, tomato sauce, toasted walnuts, basil
1. Peel half of the eggplant, dice all of the eggplant, and place in a colander with salt. Depending on how chunky you want your sauce to be, you can dice the eggplant more or less finely. Allow the salted eggplant to drain for 30 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.
2. Toss eggplant with oil, salt generously, and place in a tray or pan in a single layer. Roast in oven until the eggplant is soft, and skins are starting to brown and crisp. Depending on the size of the eggplant pieces, this should take between 20-30 minutes. Stir eggplant once or twice during roasting to prevent the pieces from sticking and also to flip the pieces for more even cooking.
3. In a saucepan, saute diced onions and minced hot peppers on medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent. Deglaze the pan with red wine, add roasted eggplant and tomato sauce. Cook and stir occasionally for 30 minutes on low heat to slowly develop the flavors. You can adjust the consistency of the sauce by adding vegetable stock or water.
4. Toast and crush walnuts. Serve sauce with a generous sprinkling of walnuts and chopped basil as garnish.