A blog I really enjoy is Warm Olives and Cool Cocktails, which is a blog I picked up from The Foodie Blogroll. Kate is giving away a sizeable chunk of her cookbook collection and all you have to do if you win is pick a recipe and blog about it! I totally understand why she wants to pare down her collection--I have tons and tons of cookbooks, which is incredibly stupid because I barely cook any recipes that aren't in TJOC at this stage of life.
I won the Cook's Illustrated bound copy of all the 2001 magazines. I LOVE Cook's Illustrated, so I was very excited. I decided to make The Best Baba Ghanoush from the July/August issue. I was particularly drawn to this recipe because I've made the TJOC version and, so far, in my direct CI to TJOC battle, CI is up one (The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook has a WAY better mashed potato recipe).
It was pretty easy. I roasted two eggplants at very high heat for about an hour, turned with tongs every 15 minutes.
I took the eggplants and skinned them, then let them drain for a few minutes.
The eggplant was then pureed with lemon juice, tahini paste, a garlic clove, and some olive oil.
Pretty simple! It was good, although too lemony for my taste. CI recommends eating it all in one day because they say it doesn't keep well--I had no problem holding TJOC's version (as much as I love baba ghanoush, even I can't eat it all in one day). So I would give the contest to TJOC--the cookbooks are now 1:1.
I also made Tapenade (p. 75) because I thought it would make a good lunch during the week with some pita bread.
This was one of those recipes where you combine all the ingredients (black olives, olive oil, capers, lemon juice, garlic, and thyme) in the food processor and that's that. It's probably really easy if you have a normal sized food processor but with our tiny tiny food processor, it was not an easy task. As you can see, the olives were never totally broken down--but I think it was actually better with bigger chunks of olives!
It was delicious--really garlicky and full of flavor. If you don't adore garlic, this is not the recipe for you. I LOVE garlic though so it was perfect. It kept really well too--I ate it for two weeks past when I made it and it was absolutely fine. I ate the tapenade on pitas but it would be even better on some good crusty Italian bread.