Mediterranean Eggplant Dip
In need of a last minute dip for the New Year’s Eve festivities? I found this recipe on the New York Times’ website, and it looked simple enough. So I made it last night looking forward to making an hor d’oeuvre that’s a bit different from my normal dishes but ultimately not having huge expectations. Certainly not expecting it to be a “Wow” dish. Wow.
I was truly surprised how good this dip is for something that is so simple. I was expecting it to be more like what I’ve had at Greek restaurants. A bit more heavy. A bit more oily. Instead, it is super light and incredibly fresh tasting. It’s reminds me more of a salsa meets the smoothness of guacamole. And, Kate Moss if you are reading this—it is pretty healthy too! The scallions seem a bit much—a whole cup—but they add such a nice flavor and are not overwhelming at all. The tomatoes add great freshness. The peppers add a really nice crunch and texture. Lastly, the lemon juice and tahini add that perfect subtle background that pulls everything together.
If you do not make this dip tonight, certainly consider it for another time. I promise it will be a crowd pleaser.
So here is the recipe with some of my added notes and a couple revisions. This makes a lot of dip. So much, that you can certainly half it and still have plenty. For the tomatoes, I personally think keeping the skins on should be okay (though I did make mine without the skins). More importantly, be sure you seed the tomatoes before chopping them.
- 2 pounds eggplant
- 1 clove of garlic, pressed
- 1/4 cup tahini (Middle Eastern sesame paste)
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (do not use the bottled stuff)
- 6 ounces peeled, chopped tomatoes (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 pound green and/or red peppers, diced
- 8 scallions, sliced, or about 1 cup
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Spear the eggplants several times with a knife, so that they will not explode in the oven.
- Bake the eggplant for 25 to 35 minutes or until a knife goes into them with no resistance.
- Slice the eggplants in half. With a spoon, remove the eggplant flesh from the skin. (It is easiest to do while the eggplant is still hot; wear a rubber glove.) Puree the eggplant in a blender or food processor.
- When the puree has cooled, add all the remaining ingredients, reserving a little parsley and diced peppers for garnishing.
- Taste for salt; add more if necessary.
- Serve with fresh or toasted wedges of pita bread and leaves of curly lettuce or chicory.