My Convertible Life

Monday, November 15, 2010

Recipe: Roasted Eggplant-Feta Dip

We got a lot of eggplant in our Produce Box this fall. Since my kids and I are not big fans of eggplant parm, I needed another easy option for using it. A quick Google search revealed this recipe from Eating Well, which includes one of my favorite ingredients: feta cheese.

I took it to a bloggy ladies event and it was a hit. My kids don't love it, but I do -- served with pita chips, it's a great substitute for lunch. Here's the recipe, with my substitutions and notes added.

Roasted Eggplant - Feta Dip

Ingredients
1 medium eggplant, (about 1 pound) -- I usually had two or three smaller eggplants, which worked fine.
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil -- Depending on the size of your eggplant, you might need less oil.
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, preferably Greek
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion -- Red onions would probably be better, but I used whatever white or yellow was in the fridge and they worked fine.
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small chile pepper, such as jalapeƱo, seeded and minced (optional) -- I skipped this.
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of sugar, (optional) -- I added this. It's helpful if your eggplant is a little bitter.

Directions 
  1. Position oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source; preheat broiler.
  2. Line a baking pan with foil. Place eggplant in the pan and poke a few holes all over it to vent steam. Broil the eggplant, turning with tongs every 5 minutes, until the skin is charred and a knife inserted into the dense flesh near the stem goes in easily, 14 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board until cool enough to handle.
  3. Put lemon juice in a medium bowl. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and scrape the flesh into the bowl, tossing with the lemon juice to help prevent discoloring. 
  4. Add oil and stir with a fork until the oil is absorbed. (It should be a little chunky.) 
  5. Stir in feta, onion, bell pepper, chile pepper (if using), basil, parsley, cayenne and salt. Taste and add sugar if needed.
  6. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. I actually kept mine longer -- it's not as pretty, but still tasty.

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