Rustic Eggplant Bruschetta with Olive Tapenade
Sometimes you cook a dish, and it’s so good you can eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That’s exactly how we feel about this Rustic Bruschetta with Eggplant Spread and Olive Tapenade. It easily can be your weekend breakfast, weekday lunch or light dinner.
When we created this bruschetta recipe, we were inspired by Mediterranean cuisine. We wanted to add something warm and summer like to the menu, just to remind ourself that the winter will be over soon (or almost soon), and ahead of us is a season full of fresh fruits, veggies, picnics and BBQ’s.
Think about this Rustic Bruschetta as a combination of Israeli and Spanish cuisine. Eggplant spread basically is a Baba ganoush; only we used Japanese eggplant instead of a regular one. The reason is Japanese eggplant is much tender and not bitter at all. Therefore, when you roast and pure Japanese eggplant, the spread get’s smoother and creamier.
As for Olive Tapenade, we came pretty close to a traditional recipe but added a tiny dollop of Harissa to add a spice kick and make the Tapenade more piquant. You can make your own Harissa from scratch, or buy it in a grocery store and use it with meat or veggies. It’s particularly good with everything cooked on a grill.
- Japanese eggplants - 2
- olive oil - 2 tablespoon
- garlic - 1 clove, minced
- lemon juice - 1 tablespoon
- tahini - 1 tablespoon
- salt - to taste
- chiabatta or other white bread - 1 loaf
- green olives - 1/2 cup
- extra virgin olive oil - 1-2 teaspoons
- anchovy filet - 1
- lemon zest - 1/2 teaspoon, grated
- capers - 2 taespoons
- fresh basil - 5-7 leaves, chopped
- harissa paste or minced fresh chili - 1/2 teaspoon
- freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Brush the eggplants with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Arrange them on a baking sheet
- Bake until the eggplants are soft, about 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Slice the ciabatta 1 inch thick. Arrange on a baking sheet and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Bake until crisp and golden brown, around 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the ciabatta from the oven and let cool.
- Using small paring knife remove the eggplant skin.
- Transfer the eggplant flesh into a food processor. Add the minced garlic, lemon juice, and tahini paste.
- Process until smooth. Season to taste with salt.
- For a tapenade, finely chopped the olives and anchovy fillet.
- In a bowl mix the chopped olives, anchovy, capers, grated lemon zest, chopped basil, harissa or minced chili. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
- Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.
- Spread a thick layer of eggplant mixture on ciabatta slices. Top with tapenade.