Crostini With Greek Eggplant Topping
2 pounds eggplant (2 medium)
Preheat the oven to 400F.
1/4 cup diced white onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves
3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
loaf fresh thick-crusted bread, (1 pound)
Do not peel the eggplants, but pierce them in several places with a fork. Place the whole eggplants in an ovenproof glass dish. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until very soft. The skin will scorch slightly. Remove eggplants from the oven and set aside to cool.
When they are cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthwise and scrape the pulp from the skin. Discard any dense pockets of dark seeds. Place the eggplant pulp in a food processor and pulse to coarsely chop; do not puree. Drain off any liquid that may separate from the pulp. Add the onion, garlic, parsley, and oregano and pulse to combine. With the machine running, add the lemon juice and then the oil in a thin steam. Don't overprocess the resulting mixture should be a thick, slightly chunky puree.
Transfer to a serving bowl and chill for several hours.
Shortly before serving time, make the crostini. Preheat a broiler or a coal or gas grill to medium. If the bread has a long, skinny shape (like a baguette), cut it across its width into 1/2-inch slices. If you are using a dome-shaped loaf, cut it in half from top to bottom, then cut each half crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the broiler pan or directly on the grill. Cook about 2 minutes per side, until the bread is lightly browned and crisp on the outside, but still soft and chewy on the inside. Don't toast the bread for too long or it will dry out completely.
Stack the crostini on a serving plate and serve it with the eggplant topping on the side.
Any leftover eggplant topping can be stored in a tightly closed container in the refrigerator and enjoyed over the course of a few days. Leftover crostini will retain their crispness for a day or two if stored at room temperature in a tightly closed plastic bag.
I think it'd be good wthiout the nuts. The nuts definitely add to the cake but I understand if you're not a nut person. : ) If you try it wthiout let me know what you think!
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