What a busy week it has been! Business meetings, runny noses, and an over abundance of produce from my aunty's farm! I have no problem with having lots of tomatoes and cucumbers...those always get used...but what about those lesser-loved veggies, like eggplants?? (I had to think long and hard about it, for sure.)
So, after going through lots of my cookbooks for a recipe, or at least, inspiration, I came up empty handed. My next step of course, is always www.epicurious.com. And here is what I found:
Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant dip
1 - 3/4 lb eggplant
2 lbs red bell peppers
4 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
salt and pepper to taste
(I had lots of eggplants, so I tripled the recipe. And of course I added in an extra red pepper that had seen better days.)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Oil the eggplant and red peppers and roast on a pan for 30-40 minutes, until the veggies are blackened and very soft. You'll have to turn them periodically. And make sure to you use a pan with shallow sides, because there will some water that comes out of the veggies. After everything is roasted, place them in a bowl or baking dish and cover with plastic wrap - it seems like an unnecessary step, but as the veggies cool under the cling wrap, they are super easy to peel the skins off....and that's the next step, coincidentally enough. (Don't rush the cooling, I beg you! Unless you want to spend the rest of your day with very tender, burned fingers!) Put the skinned veggies in a food processor, and add the oil, garlic, lemon and jalapeno. Whirl away to your desired consistency. (I have chosen to make mine very smooth...and I added some extra jalapeno, because I like it with some good kick.) Add salt and pepper to taste.
Put the puree in a saucepan and cook, on low for 15-20 minutes - this will help evaporate any extra liquid and also concentrate the flavors. Mine is on the stove, as we speak. I can't wait to serve this dip with warmed pita wedges. Oh, and I want to try adding goat cheese to the dip and stuffing large pasta shells to bake in the oven....or maybe using wonton wrappers to make my own ravioli...or tossing pasta in the dip and serving it with other roasted veggies....oh gosh, I have to go..apparently I am hungry!!!