I really do love bagels. Often, I have my mom’s voice ringing in the back of my head saying, “Oatmeal is a better choice”. But then I just push it away, because bagels are worth it. Especially on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Besides, when you use bagels as a canvas for garden veggies, they can be considered an excellent choice, right? Maybe even better than oatmeal. Don’t worry mom, that’s a whole wheat everything bagel plated below.
And it’s loaded with creamy baba ganoush.
Recently, I’ve been using bagels as a platform for vine ripened tomatoes, spilling out over a nice smear of cream cheese and layered with sweet onions. It’s what I consider a perfect breakfast. Throw a farm fried egg on the side, and breakfast feels flawless. Cue Beyonce: I woke up to this.
The days of huge tomato harvests are beginning to slow down though, just as eggplants are quickly populating the nearby plants. Those purple guys were the inspiration for ditching the cream cheese in favor of a new kind of spread.
Buttery baba ganoush on a chewy toasted bagel – it’s a match made in heaven, no cream cheese needed. Feel free to keep it vegan, or throw some salty feta on top. I recommend some chopped tomatoes, too, if you have them.
Real talk here – emojis are one of the best attributes to ever appear in the smartphone world. It’s not infrequent that I’m texting half in emoji-speak, and dying in my bed from my own emoji-induced laughter.
Emojis are great, and so are the other goofs who can appreciate them as much as I do. Hopefully that’s you, otherwise you’re probably praying for my sanity right now.
While I am forever anticipating the creation of a carrot emoji, I can say I frequently get down with the eggplant icon while I wait. Its purple radiance, with its bright green top, does wonders to add life to my muted text messages.
Eggplant emojis, for the win.
You know what else is an eggplant win? When you add its roasted form to your hummus. You’ll find a recipe for that below, which is essentially a babaganoush meets hummus situation that can only be described as yum-o.
By adding roasted eggplant into the chickpea mix, you create a slightly creamier spread to smear across your toasted bread or pita. I wanted to throw a little texture back in, so I toasted up some cumin seeds and added them, too. Like poppy seeds on a cracker, their small pop works well here, and really takes the spice infusion to another level. The toasty aromatics and nuttiness you derive from the whole form of cumin seed is worth the extra step.
Spread on pita with thinly sliced cabbage, spinach, and maybe some feta, too, or serve simply as is with warm, toasted bread and a drizzle of EVOO.
When I get eggplant, it heads straight to the oven. Forget stir-fry. Forget sautés. Forget the grill. Forget anything else you’d ever do with the purple beauts.
Like wine is made for sharing, eggplant’s made for roasting.
This applies 95% of the time in my kitchen. Nothing beats a soft and caramelized, creamy bite of eggplant. And nothing’s worse than an undercooked bite, either. This happens all too often in stir fry, often with restaurants that don’t know what they’re doing. Stick with baking and give yourself ample time, and you’ll be golden. Your eggplant too.
Baba ganoush is a classic, Middle Eastern dip. It’s similar to hummus, but swaps the chickpeas for roasted eggplant. It’s creamy, cumin-y, and the perfect smearer for a slightly toasted pita. Try it out while you can because the summer season’s quickly coming to an end, and along with it, farm-to-table eggplant.