White Eggplant with Sweet Potato Skordalia, Fried Capers and Garlic Confit
Serves 3 – 4
3 – 4 medium white eggplants
1 head of garlic
1 tbsp dry thyme
1 large sweet potato
2 – 3 tbsp capers
1 – 2 tsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Plenty of olive oil
Optional: nuts, seeds or grains for topping
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Skin the garlic and place the whole cloves in a small baking dish with the thyme and enough oil to generously cover the garlic. Bake until the garlic is browned but not falling apart, ~45 minutes. *Note, the garlic confit recipe comes from the glorious Gjelina cookbook which recommends fresh herbs but if you don’t have any, dry will do. Once ready, set aside to cool.
- Skin, cube and boil the sweet potato until tender. Set aside.
- When the garlic is ready, in a food processor or high power blender combine the cooked sweet potato, 5 – 6 cloves of the garlic, 3 tbsp of the oil from the garlic, red wine vinegar (start with 1 tsp and add more to taste), and a dash of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
- Cut the eggplants in half, diagonally score the flesh, and generously salt the flesh for 20 – 30 minutes to remove the water. Then rinse off the salt and pat dry. Place the eggplants face up in a baking sheet or pan, generously top each eggplant with olive oil and bake at 350F/180C until browned and tender, ~15 – 25 minutes depending on your oven and size of the eggplants. You can put on the broiler for the last few minutes to brown nicely.
- In a small saucepan on medium-high heat, using some of the excess garlic oil, heat the oil (not to smoking) and carefully add the capers (watch out for hot oil splattering!). Fry until they are crispy but not browned, ~3 – 5 minutes. Set aside on a papertowel.
- When the components are ready, place the sweet potato skordalia on the plate, then add the cooked eggplant, then top with crispy capers, more of the garlic confit, lemon zest, nuts/seeds/grains if using (toasted buckwheat groats used here), and add a lemon wedge.