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.
(Image: Marin Gourmet)