Russian Baklazhannaia Ikra
1 large eggplant
1 cup finely chopped onions
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
2 large ripe tomatoes, peelec, chopped, seeded
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tablespoons black pepper
dark rye or pumperknickel bread
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake the eggplant on the middle rack
for about an hour, turning it over once or twice untill it is soft
and it's skin is charred and blistered.
Meanwhile, cook the onions in 4 tablespoons of the olive oil over
moderate heat untill they are soft but not brown (6-8 mins). Stir
in the green pepper and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally,
for 5 minutes longer. With a ruber spatula, scrape the contents of
the skillet into a mixing bowl.
Remove the skin of the egplant with a sharp knife, then chop the
pulp finely, almost to a puree (it should be almost soft enough to
stir in). Add it to the mixing bowl and stir in the tomatoes, sugar,
salt, and a few grindings of black pepper. Mix together thouroughly.
Heat the two remaining tablespoons of olive oil in the skillet over
moderate heat and pour in the eggplant mixture. Bring to a boil,
stirring constantly, then turn the heat to low, cover the skillet,
and simmer for an hour. Remove the cover and cook for another
half-hour, stirring from time to time, untill all the moisture in
the pan has evaporated, and the mixture is firm enough to hold it's
shape in a spoon. Stir in 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and taste
for seasoning, adding more salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and chill, covering it with plastic
wrap, untill ready to serve. Serve on pieces of rye bread.