Eggplant Spread (Baklazhannaia Ikra)

Serve this very cold with highly-flavored breads.

Ingredients

  • 1 (1 pound) eggplant
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Cocktail pumpernickel rye bread or black bread

Instructions

  1. Prick eggplant 3 or 4 times with fork.
  2. Wrap green pepper in aluminum foil.
  3. Place eggplant and green pepper in shallow baking dish.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees F until eggplant is very soft, about 35 minutes; cool.
  5. Remove skin from eggplant and seeds from green pepper; chop eggplant and green pepper.
  6. Cook and stir onion and garlic in oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat until onion is tender.
  7. Stir in eggplant, green pepper and remaining ingredients except bread. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.
  8. Place mixture in blender container. Cover and blend on high speed, stopping blender occasionally to scrape sides, until smooth, about 1 minute.
  9. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, at least 4 hours.
  10. Serve with bread.

Makes about 2 cups.

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