Updated: Aug 26, 2021
This simple recipe yields a rich spread that is versatile and delicious (recipe link). We grew poblanos this year and the plant produced so many peppers that we were constantly trying to use them in sauces and sautés. They work well here because they are a mild pepper, but if you want more of a kick then by all means add some spicier peppers to the mix! I love to eat this over crispy polenta (pan sautéed or air fried) with a sprinkling of cheese, broiled until it melts. Spread it on toast or put it in a sandwich, grilled cheese, with eggs, or over cooked chicken or lamb. It is a great thing to have a jar of in the fridge and stored in the freezer, especially in the winter when our natural hibernation mode pulls us towards carbs and away from vegetables (or is that just us?).
About 3 cups
2 large eggplants, skin on, cut into 1/2"-3/4" cubes (~1,000g)
3-4 poblano peppers deseeded & chopped into 1/2" pieces (~100g)
1 large leek cut into 1/2" pieces (~100g) Remove dark green leaves and 1-2 outer leaves, quarter lengthwise leaving attached at white bulb, then cut 1/2" crosswise and rinse pieces well.
1 small tomato, seeded and chopped into 1/2" pieces
6 cloves garlic, crushed with flat side of knife and rough chopped
3-4 sprigs rosemary
3-4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1---Preheat oven to 350F. Add all vegetables to a large Dutch oven, or any large oven-safe vessel with a lid. Add garlic, spices, salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Use your hands to toss and coat the vegetables, ensuring the springs of rosemary and thyme weave through the mix.
2---Bake for 2 hours, stirring once at the 40 minute mark and again at the 1 hour: 20 minute mark. After 2 hours, remove from oven, and remove and discard sprigs of spices and bay leaves before giving it a rigorous stir to blend the mix into its final spread form and release any bits that have stuck to the pan.
3---I like to store the spread in two 1-pint (2 cups) mason jars, which gives a little room at the top. Let them come to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing. The spread will keep well for at least a week in the fridge, and a few months in the freezer.
Try over polenta topped with some cheese and broiled. Shown here is half eggplant spread and half oven-roasted tomatoes, one of my favorite lunches (under 400 calories too).