September 10, 2012

Eggplant Chickpea Dip

We have tons of eggplant! In the spring, we planted half a dozen seeds, figuring that we'd get maybe 2 plants if we were lucky. Instead, we have 4 very hearty plants, all of which are producing multiple eggplants.

They're gorgeous - shiny purple veggies hanging amidst light green leaves, mixed in with the lavender flowers.

We do like eggplant a lot & have used it for sandwiches, lasagna, cheezy layers, & chips, but never for a dip. One of my friends sent me a link for an eggplant dip she'd tried, & I was inspired to make a dip. What a great way to use up 2 eggplants at once! If you aren't swamped with eggplant, you could easily halve the recipe.

Because I used a green bell pepper & did not peel the eggplant, the dip turned out a funny shade of gray-green. Don't let that scare you off! It tastes creamy & delicious, with a hit of garlic & a kick of heat.

Eggplant Chickpea Dip
Adapted from Whole Foods
Makes about 3 cups
2 large eggplants (about 1 pound each)
1 1/2 c cooked chickpeas (or 1 can, drained and rinsed)
1/4 c dried parsley
1 small bell pepper, seeded & roasted
1 jalapeno, seeded & roasted
2 T lemon juice
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2-3 T nutritional yeast

Preheat oven to 450°F. Remove stems from eggplants & slice in half lengthwise. Place halves cut-side down on a baking sheet. Bake until soft, about 40 minutes. At the same time, place bell pepper & jalapeno on a small baking sheet & roast for about 30 minutes or until soft. Once roasted, allow eggplant & peppers to cool slightly before blending.

In a Vitamix or the bowl of a food processor, place all ingredients. Process until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl & serve warm. This dip can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week. It is best served warm, so if storing, it will need to be reheated.

Note: The original recipe suggested removing the eggplant skin before processing. I kept it on for the added nutrients, however this could cause bitterness. Try a bite of the roasted eggplant to determine how it will taste before proceeding. You may also be able to leave half of the skin on & remove half for a good combination.


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