Can I keep posting party food? Good. We can blame summer’s beautiful fruits for my sudden social mood. There are so many sweet pretty things I want to eat and share with friends, like cherries. I’ve already covered them in chocolate so obviously cherry chutney was next. Cherry chutney is an amazing thing. It’s sweet, tart and tangy – the perfect complement to this creamy, smokey eggplant dip and mellow sweet potato. I promise you this showy appetizer is so worth the fuss. It’s a super flavorful dish your guests just won’t stop talking about. Oh and speaking of parties, I was invited to bring a dish to a virtual potluck hosted by some amazing bloggers! So tune in next week for lots more party food!
While the potatoes are roasting, pit the cherries. I would assume this would go a lot faster with a cherry pitter but I don’t have one so I had to do it old-school.
Roast the eggplant on medium heat with an open flame (or under the broiler in your oven). The skin will get dark and burnt and the inside will get soft and mushy.
Spoon out the inside of the eggplant (discarding the burnt skin) then salt it and drain it to release excess water. Combine the flesh of the eggplant with the rest of the dip ingredients.
Ingredients for the Cherry Chutney
2/3 cup pitted cherries
1 tablespoon pomegranate vinegar (or equal parts pomegranate juice and white wine vinegar)
pinch of salt
Ingredients for the Smokey Eggplant Dip
1 smallish eggplant
2/3 cup plain greek yogurt
juice of half a lemon
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
generous handful flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Ingredients for Assembly
4 medium sweet potatoes + oil for roasting
mixed seeds: pumpkin, sunflower, black sesame
mixed greens: more parsley, basil or arugula
Peal and slice the sweet potato into half inch disks. Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Place on parchment papered pan and roast for 30 minutes at 400F. While the potatoes are roasting make the cherry chutney: pit the cherries and pulse them in the food processor a couple times with the pomegranate vinegar – making sure to not over process. Let sit to develop flavor. For the eggplant dip: roast eggplant on open flame, medium heat (or broil in oven). The skin should be burnt and dark, the inside soft and mushy. This process will take around 10 to 12 minutes depending on the size of your eggplant. You can check for doneness by sticking it with a wooden tester – it should be nice and tender. Scoop the insides of the eggplant into a colander, salt it and let the juices drain off. Combine the meat of the eggplant with the rest of the dip ingredients, taste for salt and pepper. Assemble potatoes as shown, topping with seeds and mixed greens.
You may have a little extra cherry chutney. If this is the case, warm it up a bit and swirl it into some good vanilla ice cream for a special treat.
This dish is inspired by a recipe in this book.