eggplant tapenade

★★★★★ 1
a recipe by
George Levinthal
Goleta, CA

My mom used to make chopped eggplant with onion and pimento. We would spread it on a slice of Jewish rye bread and have a feast. I've taken her recipe and updated it with peppers, Kalmata olives and Mediterranean spices. It's great for large or small groups. This recipe was for a 40+ person open house but you can scale it down for the quantity you need. Enjoy, and thanks mom, you're loved and missed.

★★★★★ 1
serves 40 - 50
prep time 30 Min
cook time 1 Hr
method Bake

Ingredients For eggplant tapenade

  • 6 lg
  • 1 c
    diced red onion
  • 1 c
    diced sweet red pepper
  • 1/2 c
    each of diced yellow and orange sweet peppers
  • 1/2 c
    chopped kalmata olives
  • 3 tsp
    finely chopped or minced garlic
  • 1 tsp
    kosher or sea salt
  • 1 tsp
    fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp
    za'atar (mediterranean spices)
  • 1/4 c
    extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp
    lemon zest, grated
  • 2
    long baguettes
  • 1 tsp
    paprika for garnish

How To Make eggplant tapenade

  • 1
    (NOTE: If you don't have or can't find Za'atar, combine 1 tablespoon each oregano, sumac, cumin, and sesame seeds, and 1 teaspoon each Kosher salt and black pepper. Makes about 1/4 cup and can be stored for later uses.)
  • 2
    Wash off the eggplants, cut off the top and place on a large cookie sheet. Prick a few holes in each eggplant with a fork.
  • 3
    Bake in a pre-heated 375 deg oven for 60 minutes or until the skin has shriveled and a long fork will pierce the eggplant easily. Remove for the oven and let cool about 15 minutes before handling.
  • 4
    While the eggplant is baking and cooling, cut up the onions, and peppers and chop or mince the garlic set aside.
  • 5
    When cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the eggplant and discard. Put the meat of the eggplant and the seeds in a colander and squeeze out some of the liquid, but don't press it all. Put in a large mixing bowl.
  • 6
    Using a potato masher, mash the eggplant to the consistency that you prefer. I like to keep it somewhat chunky so it's not just a puree. This could also be done in a food processor. Add the peppers, onions, garlic and the salt, pepper, Za'atar and lemon zest and combine thoroughly. Slowly add the olive oil, a little at a time, to coat all of the tapenade, but not so it's very oily. Sprinkle on the paprika. Cover and refrigerate. This can be done the day before. It's almost better that way.
  • 7
    When you're ready to serve it, slice the baguettes on a bias into about 1/4" thick slices and top each slice with some of the tapenade and serve. As an option, you can leave it in a serving bowl, spread the sliced baguette on a serving plate and let everyone take their own. Slices of pita bread would work just as well. For smaller groups, reduce the measurements accordingly. Enjoy.