This might be the prettiest bottle of wine I’ve ever received. I know it’s not the label that’s important, but the wine inside is pretty good too. This is a review of the third bottle of wine that came in my May box. To read more about ClubW and see the first bottle of wine go to this post. Read about the second bottle of wine here.
2012 Upswell Cabernet Sauvignon
This wine is pretty good. It smells like black licorice and overripe plums, and has a strong yet smooth fruity flavor. I would rate this wine 4 out of 5 stars, because it has a nice flavor but isn’t as drinkable as other wines I’ve received. The real star of this post though, is the recipe that pairs with it.
This eggplant purée is the bomb. Yes I know. Eggplant purée. Gross right? My husband certainly thought so. He was very hesitant to make this, let alone eat it, but I reminded him that those were our rules and we were going to stick to them. Now that I’m writing blog posts about this I feel even more bound to our arbitrary rules. So I ran to the store to get an eggplant (because we certainly don’t keep those around) and made this.
I started by chopping up rosemary from our garden and grating the garlic. We have one of those cool spiky garlic plates that you rub the garlic against and it minces it really quickly. It’s made me much more willing to use garlic in recipes, because it’s so much easier to get a lot of garlic than chopping it all.
To make the dough you are supposed to sift the dry ingredients, make a well, pour the oil and water into the center, and then mix it all together. It’s the same way you make pasta. I recommend, however, that you do this in a bowl. There’s a reason I don’t have a picture of this step…. because the well broke and I made a huge mess.
Here’s the dough all nice and put together after I mopped up all the water. It looks dark because I used whole wheat flour. We only keep whole wheat flour in the house in an attempt to be a little healthier. It would work out great except that we keep buying pastries from the grocery store.
To make the crackers take a golf-ball sized chunk of dough and roll it out into ovals. At first I thought they were oddly shaped crackers, and then I realized that smaller crackers would take a lot more rolling. The recipe makes it sound like a ton of crackers will be produced because it says to line “several” pans with parchment paper and to cook the crackers in batches. For me, this recipe made 12 crackers. If you don’t want to use parchment paper, aluminum foil worked just fine.
Make sure you keep an eye on the crackers. I set the timer for 12 minutes and they came out a little burned around the edges.
Here is the eggplant after it’s been roasted. The brilliance of this purée really comes from the roasting of the eggplant and the garlic. It gives the dish a smoky nuttiness that would be absent without this step. Roasting vegetables is really easy, just coat them in olive oil and set the oven to 450 degrees. The eggplant took 25 minutes.
To roast garlic just cut a head in half and wrap each half in aluminum foil after drizzling them with olive oil. Roasted garlic is super delicious. We like to roast garlic and spread it on bread as an alternative to the garlic bread you buy in grocery stores. You can even whip it with butter and a little salt to make a great garlic butter. It’s really easy and tastes way better – not to mention it’s probably way better for you.
Once everything is roasted you just throw it in a food processor with goat cheese to make it extra creamy and delicious. The final ingredient is lemon juice, which just brightens up the purée and keeps it from being too heavy.
Here is the result. This eggplant purée is awesome. My husband loves the garlic flavor that comes through, and even my 20-month-old son kept asking for “bites.” It’s smoky, roasted flavor pairs really nicely with the wine. The purée is very reminiscent of baba ghanoush, and would be a great alternative to hummus. Not that there’s anything wrong with hummus.
You could just eat it like this, as a dip, or you can do something else with it. My husband insisted that crackers and dip was not sufficient for dinner, so upon his suggestion we made salad wraps using the purée as a spread. We took a tortilla (these are a corn/whole wheat blend and are awesome), spread some of the eggplant mix on it, and layered with salad mix and beets that we grew and pickled ourselves. I love being able to use food that we’ve preserved ourselves. He might be wrong about eggplant, but he does have some pretty good ideas.
I was not compensated for this post and all opinions and pictures are my own. This post does contain referral links, and if you sign up for a service using my link I will receive a small amount of credit to help fund my obsessions. Thank you for reading.