Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Tapenade

This is a great little appetizer to have while your leisurely waiting for something to cook on the grill this weekend. It can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and kept in the frig, in fact it tastes even better that way because all the flavors blend together perfectly.

This is not your typical recipe for tapenade, this is rustic and chunky minus the olives and
capers. Don’t get me wrong, you can certainly add those things if you want, but for me, I just like the taste of eggplant to shine through.

Ingredients are simple, eggplant, onion, red pepper, and basil. I roasted mine in the oven but you can also grill them too.

Heat your oven to 425F, take 2 nice size eggplants and cut around the skin in a zebra pattern, taking some off and leaving some on. Cut into 3/4 in. disks. Chop 1/2 of a large onion and 2 red peppers the same size.
Drizzle both sides with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast till tender on the inside, and slightly crispy on the outside. Cool and cut into big chunks.

Place everything in a bowl, add 1 finely chopped clove of garlic, and a dressing of emulsified fresh lemon and olive oil, keep tasting to your desired amount, adding more or less. Lastly, add some freshly torn basil leaves and toss in some toasted pine nuts.

Make sure you toast up some good crusty bread so you can smear the tapenade on top, and be sure to open up a nice cold bottle of your favorite wine. Aaaah, this is living!!!
Have a great weekend and Buon Appetito!!