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Eggplant Dip or Salsa

by Elizabeth Skipper | January 28th, 2015 | Chef Recipe, Recipes
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eggplant (400x400)Cooked eggplant makes a great base for a dip, especially if it’s grilled. If it’s not the season or if you don’t feel like firing up the grill, it can also be roasted in the oven, although you’ll miss a bit of the smoky taste the grill imparts. There are variations of eggplant-based dips or spreads in many cuisines, especially Greek and Middle Eastern. They can be as simple as roasted eggplant mixed with lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic, or complex enough to incorporate tomato, peppers, chiles, ginger, and cilantro. Here’s a version I particularly like, in which the smokiness is emphasized by the addition of some chipotle powder.

 

 

Eggplant Dip or Salsa


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Ingredients
  1. 2 large eggplants
  2. 2-4 TB olive oil
  3. 2 TB lemon juice
  4. ½ tsp. dried oregano
  5. ¼ tsp. chipotle powder
  6. 1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded & chopped
  7. 1 small onion, finely chopped
  8. 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  9. Salt to taste
  10. Half a bunch of cilantro, chopped (optional)
  11. Baked pita chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450F
  2. Poke the eggplant several times with a fork, and place on a baking sheet lined with foil to make clean-up easier
  3. Roast the eggplant until a knife or skewer inserted into it indicates it’s well done, about half an hour
  4. Remove from the oven and cool; then peel the eggplant (If grilling, cook the eggplant over indirect heat until tender)
  5. Purée the eggplant flesh any way you like – using a food processor, an immersion blender, or by simply chopping it well with a knife (A little texture is fine)
  6. Combine the eggplant purée with the remaining ingredients and allow to mellow in the refrigerator for several hours for the flavors to develop
  7. It’s better served at room temperature, though, so remove it from the refrigerator half an hour before serving
  8. Taste again, and adjust the seasoning as desired
  9. If you don’t care for cilantro, you can leave it out or use parsley instead
  10. A little sprinkle of chipotle powder or paprika makes a nice garnish
  11. Serve with pita chips
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