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EM Bistro eggplant tapenade

Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Yields Serves 12
EM Bistro eggplant tapenade
(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)
1

Trim and peel the eggplants. Slice into 1 1/2 inch slices. Place them on a baking sheet and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt. Let rest for 20 minutes, then rinse off the salt, turn the slices and sprinkle the other side with a tablespoon of salt. Let rest 20 minutes, then rinse.

2

Heat one-fourth cup olive oil in a large skillet. Cook the eggplant slices in batches, adding oil as needed, up to one-half cup (three-fourths cup total). Cook on both sides until caramelized and golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.

3

Place the slices on a baking sheet and finish cooking in a 400-degree oven until very soft, about 10 minutes. Cool. Roughly chop the eggplant until it forms a paste.

4

In the meantime, place the garlic cloves in a piece of foil and drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Seal and bake in a 400-degree oven until soft and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of the skin and use the flat side of a large knife to mash it into a paste.

5

Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in a small pan. Add the onion and cook on medium-low heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.

6

Place the eggplant paste in a large bowl and stir in the onion, roasted garlic paste, chopped parsley, brown sugar, vinegar, capers, tomato paste, chili flakes, the remaining teaspoon salt and the pepper.

7

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve with thin slices of sourdough or whole grain bread. Makes 4 cups.

Chef Ann Cooper at EM Bistro says the flavor is best if the spread is made a day ahead.

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