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Pizza Oven Roasted Eggplant

Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet, the category leader of luxury outdoor kitchen equipment and barbecues, recently announced it has expanded its retail presence in Canada.

This summer, Kalamazoo will be available at initial Barbecue World locations in Whitby and Kanata, Ontario, as well as the original store in Concord, Ont., which is currently known as Ontario Gas Barbecue. Barbecue World is a new outdoor cooking destination that will be expanding throughout Canada in the coming years.

Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet exclusively builds outdoor kitchen equipment. Hand-built in the midwest region of the U.S., its product collection ranges from the popular Hybrid Fire Grill – the first and only grill of its kind to allow for cooking with any combination of wood, charcoal or gas – to the Artisan Fire Pizza Oven, which mimics the heat of a wood-fired oven. The Kalamazoo Gaucho Grill is based on Argentine-style cooking in which heat intensity is controlled by raising and lowering the grill rack over a large wood fire. It also offers top-rated outdoor refrigeration, warming cabinets, storage cabinets, cooktops and ventilation.

I attended the event held at Mildred’s Temple Kitchen in May and with outdoor kitchens becoming a top design trend in 2016, Kalamazoo outdoor products will turn the dream of a top-of-the-line outdoor kitchen into a reality for any homeowner.

As with any event, especially one like this, there is always fantastic food served.Kalamazoo grill master Russ Faulk and Chef Michael O’Leary of Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, who works closely with the owner of the restaurant, Chef Donna Dooher, created so many amazing dishes.This Pizza Oven Roasted Eggplant dish was a hit with everyone. Give it a try tonight!

Pizza Oven Roasted Eggplant

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • One medium Italian eggplant
  • One pint grape tomatoes
  • 5 preserved lemons
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • Two scallions
  • Extra virgin olive oil (to brush)
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Two tbsp toasted pine nuts

Method:

1. Slice eggplant approx. 3/4 inch thick lengthwise with a sharp knife – you should yield 4-6 nice slices of eggplant.

2. Brush eggplant with extra virgin olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. Roast grape tomatoes on a baking sheet or skillet until blistered, soft and slightly coloured. Set aside.

4. Trim the preserved lemons saving only the peel. Discard all the fruit. Dice the preserved lemon peel as finely as possible then add to a food processor along with honey, and rice wine vinegar. Blend till smooth. Then in a slow, steady stream add the vegetable oil to the lemon peel mixture while the food processor is running to create a smooth emulsified vinaigrette. Check for seasoning-add salt and an extra bit of honey if required.

5. Place eggplant directly on the surface of the pizza oven. Bake until a golden crust has formed and the flesh underneath has the texture of custard-approx. 4-6 mins.

6. Remove eggplant from oven, spoon tahini over the eggplant in a generous layer. Then place blistered tomatoes on top, along with a drizzle of preserved lemon vinaigrette, a few crushed pine nuts and some sliced scallions. Serve!

Recipe courtesy of Chef Michael Leary