Is there any better appetizer than a dish that is both healthy and full of flavor? This recipe is another Cooking Club Classic (Hostess: TK; Theme: Mediterranean Tapas; Date: 03.04.12). I make it all the time – when I see red peppers next to eggplants in the produce section, I cannot help myself! Add a tomato and you are most of the way there. This is a great dish to make for a party or bring to a potluck, and can be made a day or two in advance.
It is just as good warm as it is cold, and can be served with anything crunchy, like tortilla chips or crackers.
As the title of the recipe in the original link implies (it is called a “salad”), you could also just eat it with a fork!
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 eggplant, at least 1 lb
- 2 red bell peppers (just one is ok, too)
- 1 tomato, peeled and seeded (or ½ c diced canned tomatoes)
- 3 T tomato paste
- 2 T water
- dash of crushed red pepper (depending on your heat tastes)
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- salt + pepper, to taste
- There are three components that I prepare separately and then combine: eggplant, red pepper, and tomato mixture.
- Get the eggplant started first. Leave the skin on and slice the eggplant into ½" disks and then dice. You will be adding the other ingredients to the pan in which you cook the eggplant, so keep that in mind when selecting a pan.
- Saute the eggplant in a few Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat until tender, stirring occasionally and adding a bit of oil if it cooks away. You cannot over-cook the eggplant for this dip - if you cook it longer it will be fine - but about 15 - 20 minutes should do it.
- While the eggplant is cooking, preheat the broiler for the red peppers. Roast the peppers, peel the skin, and chop the peppers.
- Finally, the tomato mixture. While the eggplant is cooking, place the tomato (either peeled and seeded, or canned) in a small blender with the garlic, tomato paste, water, salt (if using) and crushed red pepper. Puree the mixture.
- Add the tomato mixture and red peppers to the eggplant pan. Let it cook for a few minutes to heat through and thicken a bit, and add salt and pepper if you would like.
Adapted from: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/middle-eastern-eggplant-salad-10000001906386/ (Note: This is an example of why it is important to read a recipe the whole way through first. When I first made this recipe, I gathered all of the ingredients and just followed along while I was cooking … but as you can see in the linked recipe, the last thing it has you do is cook the eggplant – for 30 minutes! I find it is much more efficient to get the eggplant started while you are working on the other components).