Because Olioveto carries a diverse selection of extra virgin olive oils, with varying flavor profiles and intensities, to help people choose an oil, I often ask them how they like to use EVOO. They almost always respond, “On salads”, or “For dipping bread”. But oh, that is just the beginning!
From finishing a bowl of soup to roasted and grilled meats to vanilla ice cream, there are so many ways to use young, flavorful extra virgin olive oil that will elevate any dish. Today, I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes in which having a green, high-quality olive oil is a necessity: Yotam Otttolenghi’s burnt eggplant with garlic, lemon and pomegranate seeds from his cookbook, Jerusalem. This recipe is one of Yotam’s many delicious versions of bhaba ganoush.
For this dish, I chose our Casaliva single varietal EVOO from Casa del Tempo Ritrovato in Lake Garda, Italy. The Casaliva varietal has notes of green almond, aromatic herbs and a clear hint of black pepper. It is medium to medium-high pungency, which adds a bright olive flavor to the eggplant without overwhelming it. And while 5 tablespoons of olive oil may seem like a lot, I encourage you to stick with the recipe: The olive oil gives a lush creaminess to the eggplant.
- 4 large eggplants (about 3 ¼ pounds)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- grated zest of 1 lemon and 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 5 tbsp Casaliva extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tbsp chopped mint (optional)
- seeds of 1/2 large pomegranate (scant ½ cup)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the broiler to medium or high. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Using a sharp paring knife, make deep gashes throughout the eggplant. Place the eggplants on the baking sheet.
- Broil the eggplants for 40 minutes to an hour (rotating every 20 minutes) or until the eggplant skin has burnt evenly throughout and the insides have collapsed and are completely soft.
- Remove the eggplant and let cool. Once it is cool enough to handle, cut an opening along each eggplant and scoop out the soft flesh, dividing it into long, thin strips. Discard the skin, and drain the flesh in a colander for at least an hour to get rid of as much moisture as possible.
- Transfer to a cutting board and chop the flesh then transfer to a medium bowl.
- Add the garlic, lemon zest and juice, 5 tbs of Casaliva olive oil, ½ tsp salt and a good grind of black pepper. Stir and allow eggplant to marinate at room temperature for at least an hour.
- When you are ready to serve, mix in most of the herbs and taste for seasoning. Pile on a serving plate, scatter on the pomegranate seeds, and garnish with remaining herbs.
- Serve with crusty bread, fresh pita bread or crackers.
See a video of the recipe here: