RECIPES: Platter of Brain Matter

A couple weeks ago I hosted the Backyard Zombie Film Festival and Obscene Barbecue at my place. We fired up the grill, filled the cooler and set up a projector to watch a couple of zombie flicks.

We promised a “three-corpse meal,” and my contribution to the appetizers was a platter of brain matter. I made Olive Tapenade, Baba Ghanouj, Red Pepper Hummus, and Edamame Hummus, served with tortilla chips and pita wedges. Each one, ultimately rather grey and mushy was labeled with a toothpick flag as one part of the brain. I think I served them as “Medulla,” Cerebellum,” “Cerebral Cortex,” and, “Frontal Lobe.”

I brought some into work for the office picnic too, but decided to just use the traditional names. People in both groups asked for the recipes, so here they are.

Olive Tapenade
2 c pitted Kalamata
1 cups pitted nicoise
1 large shallot, finely diced
¼ garlic clove, finely diced
8 sun dried tomatoes, finely diced
Juice of one lemon
1 tablespoons capers
½ teaspoon black pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor.

Baba Ghanouj
2 medium eggplants (about 1 pound each)
Juice of two lemons (about ½ cup)
¼ cup or ½ cup tahini (I forget)
¼ cup olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Halve eggplants from end to end and lay open side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake 45 minutes.
3. Peel while still hot, squeeze out some of the moisture and cut into several pieces.
4. Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Refrigerate until room temperature or cooler before serving.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
2 16-ounce can of chickpeas
½ cup tahini
¾ cup roasted red peppers
juice of 2 lemons
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Combine chickpeas, tahini, ½ cup peppers, garlic and lemon juice in food processor. Pulse to combine.
2. Add olive oil while pulsing until smooth, and desired consistency (you may not need all of the oil). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Add remaining peppers and pulse until chunky.

Edamame Hummus
1 pound shelled, cooked edamame (don’t work too hard; buy a bag of cooked, shelled beans)
½ cup tahini
4 tablespoons soy sauce
Juice of 1 lemon ( ¼ cup)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 shallot, finely minced
¼- ½ cup olive oil
pepper

1. Combine edamame, tahini, soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic and shallot in food processor until chunky but consistent.
2. Add olive oil while pulsing until it reaches your desired consistency (It’s better left a little chunkier). Season with pepper to taste.

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