Ever since I started making my own sourdough, I've been making toast on a daily basis. Not just butter and jam on toast but toasts hefty enough to make a meal or appetizer. So far I've whipped up a roasted tomato and burrata toast and charred ricotta toast with peppers, both incredibly delicious. It was time to add another one to the list, this time going the Middle Eastern route. I know there's not a lot of people who like eggplant but when it's braised with flavor punching ingredients, it's really quite good. You almost forget you're even eating eggplant! Try this braised eggplant toast with garlic bean spread and you won't regret it.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
If you've tried my other toast recipes, you know that I like to pile on a good amount of ingredients on a slab of bread. If we're going to make them for lunch, you better make it satisfying! This eggplant toast is no different in that there are several components to prepare. Don't fret, it'll come together sooner than you think.
To make the braised eggplant toast, we're going to first make the garlic bean spread. Think of it like hummus but made with cannellini beans and roasted garlic. Delicious, right?
Slowly brown whole garlic cloves in oil with rosemary and thyme sprigs until the garlic is golden brown. The garlic will continue to cook as it sits in the hot oil so you don't want them too dark.
Remove the herbs and blend half of the oil, about ¼ cup, with the roasted garlic cloves, cannellini beans, mustard, and lemon juice until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and there you have the garlic bean spread. The recipe makes a good amount of dip so you'll most likely have extra. This means time to spread it on everything! I used it as a pizza sauce, slathered it on roasted chicken, and used it as a dip for pita chips. All highly recommendable.
Now it's time to braise the eggplant. Eggplant does take a while to cook, about 20 minutes. If you rush the process, the eggplant will taste more sponge-like. I like to really break down the vegetable until it's tender and soft, allowing it to soak up all the flavors and become something quite beautiful.
If you can't find black garlic, substitute it with regular garlic. Black garlic is fermented garlic that tastes almost like balsamic vinegar. I recently have become obsessed with this ingredient because of the punch it adds to dishes.
The pomegranate molasses might be another foreign ingredient in the list. It's basically pomegranate juice that has been reduced until it's intensely flavored syrup. I personally don't think there's anything else that compares in flavor but if you can't find it, substitute with pomegranate juice or lemon juice with a touch of honey.
Spread the garlic bean spread on crusty bread, top it with the braised eggplant, finish the toast with fresh mint and a sprinkle of sea salt. I hope you're hungry because these toasts will surely satisfy you!
Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.