This past weekend we were like socialites – we had events to attend every day. On Friday we went out for one of Aldo’s friend’s birthday. We actually stayed out until midnight! People were just getting to the bar as we were leaving and we were thinking “man, we are OLD” as we were yawning and thinking about bedtime. I remember the days of being in my early 20s when it was normal to go leave your house at 10pm to go out. Not anymore. I sometimes pass out at 9:30 on Friday nights because I am so exhausted from the work week. But this Friday I took a nap and we went out to hang out with the cool kids. And it was a lot of fun!
Then on Saturday we went to a barbecue to celebrate another friend’s birthday! It was so nice to catch up with good friends I haven’t seen in a while, and see how much their kids have changed in the last few months. It’s pretty amazing watching these little people grow up.
I made this delicious roasted eggplant dip to bring to my friend’s house. Now you might be thinking “eggplant dip? So you made baba ganoush?” Well, not exactly. Baba ganoush traditionally has tahini, which is a sesame seed paste. But I sometimes feel like the tahini overpowers everything and tastes a bit bitter, so I skipped it. Instead I added roasted beets, since I had some on hand and wanted to add some color and sweetness to the dip. So it’s not exactly baba ganoush. But it’s seriously delicious.
This dip came out lemony, zesty, colorful, and more importantly light and healthy. A one year old was eating it and enjoying it, so it’s gotta be good. If you’re not a fan of eggplant, this might be a good gateway dish, since there are so many good flavors other than eggplant.
I made a double batch of this – some for us, some for the barbecue. The recipe below is for 1 batch. All the vegetables used for this dip are roasted – eggplant, beet, and garlic. It takes a while for the eggplant to cool after it is roasted, so either plan ahead to start this a couple hours before you want to eat it, or do the roasting the night before. This way, it’ll only take 5 minutes to put this together the next day.
I actually roasted a bunch of beets since I had the oven on already and used 1/2 of a beet for this dip, and the rest in salads.
Roasted Eggplant Dip with Beets
Makes 1.5-2 cups, depending on the size of your eggplant. Total time: 5 minutes to chop, 40 minutes to bake, 1 hour to cool, 5 minutes to put together. You do the math.
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 small beet (or 1/2 of a large beet)
- 4 garlic cloves
- 4 tablespoons mayo
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 small lemon)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
- Bit of olive oil or non-stick spray
- Food processor
- Baking dish/cookie sheet
1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a large baking dish/cookie sheet with foil and spray it with olive oil or non-stick spray.
2. Cut the eggplant in two and place side down on the foil. Pierce a few holes in each half with a knife.
3. Peel and cut the beets. If you have gloves, you should wear them, otherwise your hands will be stained pink. Cut the beets in half, and then slice each half into 4-5 thin wedges. Grab another piece of foil, spray it with olive oil. Place the beets into the foil, season with salt and pepper, and fold up the foil. The beets need to be covered while roasting, otherwise they dry out.
4. Peel the 4 garlic cloves. Wrap them in another small piece of foil.
5. Put everything in the oven to bake for 40 minutes.
6. After 40 minutes, remove from the oven and let it cool before opening up the foil. The steam inside is very hot!
7. Once everything is cool to the touch, use a fork to remove the roasted eggplant insides from the skin. I like to use a fork at first to scrape off everything that comes off easily, and then take a butter knife and use it to peel away the rest of the eggplant flesh from the skins. Discard the skins and put the eggplant mush into a colander to drain.
8. While the eggplant is draining, take out your food processor. Place the garlic and the beet wedges into the food processor. Add the lemon juice and the salt. Add the drained eggplant. Pulse for a few seconds until everything is smooth but some texture remains.
9. Place the eggplant mixture into a bowl, add 4 tablespoons of mayo and the chopped parsley. Mix well. Taste and see if you need more salt. Add some more parsley for good measure.
10. Serve with cut veggies, crackers, or pita chips!
So you should definitely make this. I am dipping vegetables into vegetables and I am actually happy about it. How often does THAT happen?