- My mother made this recipe with 2-3 hard-cooked eggs. (I don't say hard-boiled because boiling results in rubbery whites and green yolks. See this link for a better method.) Over the years, I've used less eggs and now I rarely use any eggs in this recipe. The color, texture, and body are a bit different but still wonderful.
- Pepper is optional since the eggplant already has its own peppery flavor.
- Times have changed. My grandmother chopped by hand. My mom used her meat grinder. I use a food processor. The texture of hand-chopped would be quite nice, but the time and effort to make this dish would change considerably.
- The lemon is optional. Mostly, I use it to keep the eggplant from turning color. Chances are that my grandmother did not have easy access to lemons. I wonder if she made this recipe when she lived in Russia.
- Sometimes I add cumin and/or coriander, which would make it not my mother's chopped eggplant, for sure! For the most flavor, add them to the onions while they cook.
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion cut in eighths
1 lemon wedge (optional)
ground cumin (optional)
- Wash the eggplant. Pierce with fork tines in four or more places.
- Roast at 350° on a jelly roll pan (in case the eggplant weeps) for about 50 minutes. When you squeeze the eggplant (wearing a hot mitt) it should give easily. Remove from oven and let cool.
- While the eggplant is roasting, slowly sweat the onion in the olive oil over a low flame in a covered pan. You can add a dash of cumin and/or cumin (optional). Once the onions are very soft, remove the cover and continue cooking on a low flame until they are slightly carmelized. (See picture.) Remove from heat and cool.
- Peel the skin off the eggplant and place the flesh in your food processor. Whirl a few times. Add a squeeze of lemon. Whirl again.
- Add the onion. Whirl again.
- Turn into a serving dish. Add salt to taste. Add pepper if you wish.
- Chill before serving.
|Slightly Carmelized Onions|