With New Year celebrations still a couple of days ahead many of us are still in the midst of the annual holiday foods extravaganza. I thought it might be fun to share this Roasted Eggplant, Red Pepper and Artichoke Dip, a lighter, healthier party appetizer. A wee touch of freshly grated Parmesan provides just a little salt balance pop combined with some healthy veg based ingredients for lots of tasty flavor in the noshing.
You can serve it up with some breadsticks for dipping, or baguette slices and crackers for spreading, its all up to you. Any leftover may be tossed with some small shaped pasta, or even used as a sandwich condiment. While this dip is lovely any time of the year, this colorful mix may help you enjoy the final holiday splurge while providing for some lighter, healthier options.
- 1 medium large sized eggplant, skin peeled, cut into cubes
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- couple pinches coarse kosher salt and cracked black pepper, enough to sprinkle over the cubes
- For the Roasted Red Peppers
- 2 medium sized red bell peppers
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
- 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- good pinch or two coarse kosher salt and cracked black pepper, more to taste
- 2-3 artichokes, chopped (canned or jarred)
- 3 tablespoons fresh grated Parmesan cheese, or more to taste
- 4 heaping tablespoons fresh chopped parsley, 1 tablespoon reserved
- couple pinches coarse kosher salt and cracked black pepper, more or less to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a medium sized gratin dish with oil. Toss eggplant cubes on a baking sheet with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook around forty-five minutes, stirring once or twice in between, until eggplant is soft enough for mashing. On a small baking sheet, toss red peppers with the olive oil, salt and pepper, cook around forty-five minutes, more or less, until peppers begin blistering, remove from oven, place peppers into a paper or plastic bag to steam and cool around ten minutes. Transfer cooked eggplant to a shallow bowl, mash coarsely using a potato masher or fork. Remove skins and seeds from the red peppers, lightly rinse in water scraping out any additional seeds hidden in crevices, dry gently with paper toweling and set onto a cutting board, cut into thin strips then cut strips in half. In a medium sized glass bowl toss roasted pepper strips with the chopped garlic, hot pepper flakes, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Season mashed eggplant with a pinch or two of salt, stir into the red pepper mixture along with the artichokes, Parmesan cheese, 3 tablespoons of the parsley, salt and pepper. Spoon dip into the greased gratin dish, cover with aluminum foil, set on top of a baking sheet and place into oven for twenty minutes until warmed through, remove aluminum foil, cook another ten minutes, sprinkle over the reserved parsley, serve hot or warm alongside bread sticks,crackers or baguette slices.