This Oven Roasted Eggplant Dip will accompany you for many a meal. Have it with eggs for breakfast, slathered on a sandwich for lunch, or grilled chicken, lamb or beef for dinner. I saw this recipe on Food Network's Barefoot Contessa recently, and whilst Ina grills her eggplants outside, I’m not so good with open flames, so I opted for the oven instead. This is similar to Baba Ganoush, but a lot lighter and more flavorful, IMHO. This doesn’t have any tahini in it, instead it has greek yogurt and mint to brighten it.
As for dippers, pita chips are a must, but crunchy endive and radicchio are a delicious alternative, offering a healthier and low-carb option. If I can get towards my goal of 5 a day with these, count me in!
Once you’ve roasted the eggplant, this is so quick to make. I roasted mine the day before when I had something else in the oven, then it was just a matter of putting it all in the food-processor.
I used our delicious Crispy Garlic Chili Oil but - here's secret - @traderjoes also has it sometimes! So if you don't fancy making your own version (you won't regret it) you could also use sriracha (as per Ina's recipe) or just add chili flakes. The key is to season it well and to try not to eat it all before serving, it’s kind of addicting!
Ingredients for 4 servings as an appetizer
1 large eggplant
2 garlic cloves, skin on, left whole
1/4 cup greek yogurt
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
5-6 mint leaves, roughly chopped, plus extra for garnish
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Poke the eggplant all over with a fork, this is important as it could explode in the oven (which would be a disaster!). Place the eggplant on a piece of foil and bake for 1 hour, turning it after 30 minutes. When you turn the eggplant over, just pop the two garlic cloves into the oven, skin and all, and let them bake along. Should you forget to add the garlic to the oven - which is easy to do - use 1 raw garlic glove instead, two raw cloves would be overpowering.
Once the eggplant is really soft and mushy, giving way when you poke it, remove it from the oven along with the garlic and set aside to cool. When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, make a deep slit and scoop out the flesh. Do the same with the garlic, and squeeze it out of the skins.
Place the eggplant and garlic in a food processor, add the greek yogurt, lemon juice, mint leaves, olive oil, chili, salt and pepper. Pulse, leaving it as chunky or smooth as you like. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt if necessary, this may vary depending on which type of chili flakes or sauce you use. Serve in a shallow bowl, making a swoop with a spoon and drizzle with olive oil, garnish with mint leaves and serve with warm pita wedges or endive leaves.
Adapted from Ina Garten’s Roasted Eggplant Dip recipe.