Ina's Roasted Eggplant Dip
This is one of my favorite dips/spreads of all time.
It's from Ina Garten's first and best cookbook The Barefoot Contessa, and she used to sell it in her East Hampton catering shop (such a wonderful place).
Forget all the Mediterranean recipes, this is straight forward American.
All the ingredients are local, from NJ.
Eggplants, red bell peppers, garlic and red onion.
The only problem (besides me wanting to eat the whole bowl), is even though you roast 2 big sheet pans of vegetables, you only get one bowl of dip.
It's like spinach, you think you are cooking 4 cups of raw spinach, and then all you have is a fistful after cooking.
If you love eggplant (as I do), then you will love this dip.
Ina's Roasted Eggplant Dip (adapted from Barefoot Contessa):
2 large Italian eggplants, peeled and diced 1" cubes
2 bell peppers (I use red and yellow), diced into 1" cubes
2 red onions, diced 1" cubes
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
Using 2 sheet pans, lay out the diced vegetables and drizzle with olive oil, minced garlic and kosher salt.
Roast in a 400F oven for 25 minutes, turning once during cooking.
Remove the roasted vegetables to a food processor fitted with a blade and add the tomato paste.
I like my dip chunky, so only pulse it once or twice. 1, 2, done. Don't be tempted to puree the spread, it's nicer with some texture.
You can even skip the food processor and hand mix the tomato paste in for a chunkier dip.
Taste for seasoning and let cool.
Can be made ahead and refrigerated.
Best served with pita chips.