All photos except the last in this post by Tari Owi
One of my co-workers, Boris, has the most amazing garden in his backyard. In the summertime, he brings us the most best tomatoes and pickles I've ever had. I was very upset to hear that he might not be able to make pickles this year because his crop isn't big enough. Still, we're eagerly awaiting the rest of his bounty.
Other than his amazing pickles, the best thing he ever made was for our International Potluck Lunch last summer. We had colleagues who work in our office in India visiting, so as a way to coerce them to cook Indian food for us (which was INCREDIBLE by the way) we all made our favorite dishes from our ethnic backgrounds. Fortunately, our office is very diverse.
Boris is from Russia (in case his name didn't give it away), and for the Potluck he made a Russian Eggplant Spread with fresh ingredients from his garden. Apparently it is a common dish that many people of Russian descent can throw together without a recipe. It was one of the best things at the lunch and we haven't stopped talking about it since!
This week, for my other coworker's baby shower, my friend Tari offered to try to replicate the eggplant spread. She also offered to take pictures so share with all of you - so please thank her very much!
(You'll have to stay tuned to see what I made!)
She also asked me to share a few comments with you about the preparation and history of the dish:
This spread was AMAZING. We ate it on pita chips and pretzel chips, but when Boris made it we ate it on bread. Either way it was so fantastic. The extra spice Tari added with the red pepper flakes really made it, but you know how much I love red pepper flakes. It's spicy and hearty, with a spreadable texture. This would be a great spread to bring to a BBQ this summer!