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"Dip" is misleading. "Dip", at least the really good ones, should really be called "shove" because that's what you end up doing, although you'd be offended if anyone pointed it out to you. C'mon. You know you shove your cracker or your pita chip in there like you're proving a point or scoring the winning goal. Don't give yourself airs. But the word "dip" allows you to think you are dainty.

I'm in the mood for dips. Flavourful, healthy ones if possible. I'm not a big fan of eggplant, but I love baba ganoush. I thought about making it, but then I remembered this Greek meal I had once that started with smokey roasted eggplant dip that was delicious. So I did a little research and found what looked like a simple and authentic recipe:

Melitzanosalata
1 medium eggplant
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 clove crushed garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Wash eggplant and place on a cookie sheet. Roast for 1 hour. Remove from oven and place in fridge for about 10 minutes. Remove the skin and stem and chop eggplant fine, almost to a paste. Place in bowl and add the oil, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and mash eggplant to a pulp. Serve warm or cooled in the fridge.

Looks like a roasted boxing glove:



I love this. So tasty and so simple. As I said at the start of this blog, sometimes the best thing you can do to quality ingredients is almost nothing. Here was have not added much, and simply dry roasted to bring out the eggplant's natural flavour.

Why not make it a hat-trick and do roasted garlic alongside an olive tapenade for our dip-orgy?

Roasted Garlic
1 head garlic
extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400. Cut top off of garlic head so the tops of each clove are exposed. Place inside a piece of tin foil. Pour olive oil over the exposed cloves. Wrap the tin foil shut over top. Roast in the oven for about 1 hour, unwrap and serve.

Mixed Olive and Lemon Tapenade
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup mixed olives, pitted
1/2 small roasted red bell pepper
4 large leaves fresh basil
1 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
4 stems finely chopped Italian parsley
glugs of olive oil to taste
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Roast red pepper in oven until soft, remove skin and place half in a food processor. Add olives, garlic, capers, basil, parsley, lemon zest, oil, vinegar to the processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Serve.



I had this little trifecta with toast and it was a perfect way to end the day. Sometimes you just want a light snack, you know?

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