Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Roasted eggplant dip

Summer eggplants are sweet since they have a lesser number of seeds. The bitterness of the eggplants lies in the seeds. Hence this is the time of the year to eat as much eggplant as possible.

This eggplant recipe is very simple and versatile. I roast an eggplant and then mix it with sauteed onions and tomatoes to create a delicious dip. Serve it with pita chips, as a topping for bruschetta, stuffing for pita breads, sandwich spread, over grilled polenta, or as a side with grilled meat or fish. In the picture you will see that even though these eggplants have lesser number of seeds, they are still quite visible. If you don't like the seeds, you can remove the entire cluster after roasting the eggplant.

Roasted Eggplant Dip

One large eggplant
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chopped jalapeno pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 teaspoons canola oil

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and place it on the center rack of the oven. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes turning it after every ten minutes, till the skin is charred and coming away from the flesh. Remove from the oven and cool. (Or you could roast it over the fire if you like a smoky flavor like I do).

3. Once cooled, use a kitchen towel to scrape off the charred skin. Cut off the top and smash the roasted eggplant with a potato masher and set aside.

4. Heat a heavy bottomed skillet with canola oil and add the chopped onion and minced jalapeno (if using). Saute over medium high heat till the onions are browning at the edges. Add the chopped tomato, salt and the mashed eggplant and cook stirring occasionally till the tomatoes have completely broken down and the eggplant mixture looks dry. Remove from the heat and serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 1 1/2 cups

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