Tuesday, August 28, 2012

roasted eggplant & peppers dip

i love having simple, easy and delicious appetizer recipes on hand.  the secret is to use local, organic/sustainably grown ingredients whenever possible, keep a well stocked pantry of essential items like oils, vinegars, condiments & spices and plan your menu based on whatever produce is in season.

happily, this all comes together beautifully with roasted eggplant & peppers dip.  the recipe calls for eggplant, bell peppers and tomatoes...all in abundant quantities right now at my local farmer's market. i always have excellent quality extra virgin olive oil, capers, vinegar, olives and spices in the pantry so this dish is perfect for last minute pool party invites, or lunches, or cocktail parties. you know those days when friends call and say "hey, what are you guys doing? maybe we will stop by after work.  we have wine."   have roasted eggplant dip, some grilled bread drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, crackers, cheese and some cut up vegetables ready when they arrive.  easy and delicious so you can  enjoy your impromptu party!

this is eggplant week at food network's summerfest.  last year i shared a recipe for grilled, marinated eggplant sandwiches and posted some nutritional facts for this versatile vegetable.  did you know that eggplants are high in fiber and antioxidants?  i like to use different types of eggplant in the same dish.  this summer i have found white, italian and chinese varieties along with the more typical deep purple globe eggplants.  this dip can be made with just one type, or a combination...whatever looks good at the market that day.  oh...and one more thing...try the dip spread on roast beef sandwiches, stirred into hot pasta or as part of a grilled cheese sandwich....really, really good.

roasted eggplant & peppers dip
1 eggplant (about 7 oz)
1 large red bell pepper
1 large yellow bell pepper
2 medium tomatoes
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tablespoon jarred capers, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons chopped kalamata olives
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 cup pine nuts
sea salt
black pepper

preheat oven to 400 degrees. cut the eggplant into cubes about 1 inch in diameter and chop the peppers and tomatoes into bite sized pieces. spread the vegetables on a baking sheet and drizzle the 4 tablespoons olive oil over vegetables.  sprinkle a large pinch of salt and pepper each over the top.  roast for 30 minutes.  remove from oven, stir and add back to oven. roast another 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are soft and caramelized.

pour roasted vegetables into medium sized bowl.  add garlic, oregano, capers, olives, vinegar and red pepper flakes to bowl.  stir to combine.  taste and add additional salt, pepper and/or vinegar if desired.  place 1/2 of the mixture in a food processor and pulse until pureed.  stir the puree back into the bowl with the unprocessed mixture.  stir to combine.
meanwhile, toast pine nuts in small skillet until toasted and light brown.  sprinkle on top of dip.  serve with chips, crackers and/or vegetables.

now it is your turn to participate in summerfest. simply leave your eggplant tip or recipe or favorite links in the comments below, and then go visit food network and do the same same. be sure to check out the delicious sounding recipes from the other participating bloggers:
Feed Me Phoebe: Grilled Eggplant Baba Ganoush
Jeanette's Healthy Living: Asian Grilled Eggplant With Soy-Sesame Sauce
From My Corner of Saratoga: Ratatouille Fresh From the Garden
And Love It Too: Slow-Cooker Paleo Eggplant Parmesan
Big Girls Small Kitchen: Homemade Baba Ganoush
Made by Michelle: Eggplant Zucchini Muffins
Cooking With Elise: Stuffed Eggplant
Virtually Homemade: Layered Ratatouille la Ratatouille
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Eggplant and Peppers Dip
HGTV Gardens: Garden-to-Table: Eggplant
Thursday Night Dinner: Eggplant Flatbread
Healthy Eats: Going Meatless With Eggplant
Devour: Giada's Rigatoni With Eggplant Puree
Cooking With Books: Sriracha and Honey Eggplant Rice
FN Dish: Eggplant: Champion of the Meat-Free Meal

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Jeanette said...

This reminds me caponata in dip form, one of my favorites!

napa farmhouse 1885 said...

it is like caponata...love it too!