Roasted Eggplant Dip

The eggplant is one vegetable that always grows well in our garden here in Umbria, no matter what the weather. Last summer we had one of the wettest summers in history, and although our other vegetables gave up the fight, our eggplant plants kept producing. This summer, we had the hottest July with temperatures close to a hundred degrees day after day, and our eggplants thrived. Having a bounty of fresh eggplant in the garden is a wonderful thing, but then once picked, I have to find ways to prepare them. This summer I have prepared eggplant in just about any manner I can think of, including roasting it to make a tasty dip. This dip is great as a light snack served with whole grain crackers or spread across warm slices of crusty Italian bread. I even like to use this dip as a spread when I am making my favorite veggies wraps.

This dip uses a minimal amount of oil, although olive oil is a heart-healthy fat. I am sharing the basic recipe below, but you could also add a couple of sun-dried tomatoes, or drizzle some oil mixed with a teaspoon of basil pesto on top with a sprinkling of lightly toasted walnuts. I added one small chili pepper for a little heat because my husband likes everything spicy, but you can skip the hot pepper if you prefer. When picking eggplants for this recipes, choose small, firm-skinned eggplants without blemishes. Small eggplants will not be bitter and will therefore not require salting in this recipe.

 

  • In addition to featuring a host of vitamins and minerals, eggplant also contains important phytonutrients, many which have antioxidant activity.
  • A minimal amounts of heart healthy olive oil is used in this recipe keeping the recipe a healthy low fat snack option.

 

Roasted Eggplant Dip

Yield: Serves 4 - 6

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

4 Small Eggplants
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Divided
1 Small Clove Garlic, Peeled
2 Tablespoons Tahini Paste
Juice of 1 Small Lemon
1 Small Hot Chili Pepper (Optional)
Salt & Pepper To Taste
2 Teaspoons Chopped Fresh Mint Leaves

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the eggplants in half and lightly brush with olive oil.
Place the eggplants cut side down on a foil lined baking sheet, and bake until fork tender, about 30 minutes.
Allow the eggplant to cool before handling.
Scoop the eggplant pulp from the skins and place the pulp in a food processor along with the garlic, Tahini, lemon juice, chili pepper (optional), and process until smooth.
Season well with salt and pepper and blend.
Serve the eggplant dip in a bowl topped with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and the chopped mint leaves along with whole grain crackers.