I always keep a tub of Affi’s Aubergine Dip in my refrigerator, for many of the same reasons I always keep frozen peas in the freezer: convenience, inspiration, unexpected guests and, above all, deliciousness. While the ingredients are simple (mesquite smoked eggplant, olive oil, garlic, herbs and salt) the flavor impact is rich, smoky and complex. It makes a quick and gorgeous appetizer when spread on crackers and garnished with tiny basil leaves or slivers of nasturtium blossoms. Or even easier, just plop it into a pretty bowl as part of a cheese platter. It also makes a terrific instant sauce when tossed with pasta, fresh (or even canned) tomatoes and feta cheese.
It’s a little pricey, true, but it really delivers. Besides, that glossy deep purple unctuous smoky stuff is…well, kinda sexy. Lucky Bay Area citizens can find this and other Affi products at Rainbow Grocery, The Bowl and a host of other locations. Everyone else has yet another reason to come on out for a visit. (Image: Marin Gourmet)