a taste for the holidays

The delight of early winter consists not only in the anticipation of wrapped goodies on Christmas morning, but in the layers of sense memories conjured up all around us.

:: scents of cinnamon and ginger ::

:: tastes of mint and chocolate ::

:: the warmth of wool mittens ::

:: tunes to hum along with ::

:: friends to hug ::


Peppermint Crunch Cookie

Chocolate Orange Shortbread

I’ve already blogged some of our favourite recipes. And I’ve already extolled the bright delights of sugarplums, an unexpected addition to our traditions that was previously only a nostalgic concept.

Today I’d like to share a recipe for a savoury delight: Roasted Eggplant Spread. It’s easy, luscious, and ridiculously low-calorie. (Did you hear that? That was the angel choir.) I’ve altered the original recipe enough to be able to share it here.

Roasted Eggplant Spread

2 medium eggplants
1 onion
15 large or 20 medium green olives
1 bunch fresh basil
1 tsp salt

Cut the eggplant in half, lengthwise and place cut-side down on a cookie pan with parchment paper or other non-stick surface. Skin and quarter the onion and place in tinfoil on the same pan. Roast at 375F for 30-40 min (fork tender). Allow to cool.

Scoop the eggplant flesh into a blender or food processor. Add everything else. Now whirl until it’s not quite smooth – you’ll enjoy a bit of texture in this. Let it sit for at least 30 min.

It makes 6 1/2c servings. Use it as a dip or as a spread it on bread or pitas.


I don’t have a charming photo of this spread because I took a bit of a risk this year and tossed it in the freezer.  The To Do list was becoming a bit of a ‘Suicide by Over-Committing’ list, and so I’ve moved as much as possible forwards on the calendar.  Besides, it’s a roasted eggplant recipe – pretty isn’t exactly the first word that leaps to mind.  Garnish with red pepper and a bit of basil.


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