Because I would love to hear that argument. If there even is one. I mean really, who doesn't love dips? They provide so many options and can please all categories of eaters. The picky ones. The healthy ones. The meat lovers. The list could go on and on.
If you haven't caught on by now...I like dips. And I seem to get pretty defensive about them. I think they remind me of my childhood or something like that. Mom, did you feed me heavenly dips on a daily basis or what? Either way...I'm a fan. However, I'll go ahead and tell you I'm not a fan of the ones filled with mayonnaise. It may be hidden in there but I definitely know it's there. My body starts cringing (with possible twitching) at the thought, sight, smell, or feel of mayonnaise. If you've ever worked in a restaurant you know how mortifying it is to have to scoop the mayo out of the bottom of that massive bucket. It made me want to burst into tears every time.
Defensive about dips. Offensive about mayo.
So here's what I love about this dip...it's creamy without the mayo. And way healthier. Mayo and sour cream move over, yogurt is here to save the day. The dip also has this unbelievable smokiness to it from roasting the eggplant and adding a generous amount of smoked paprika (<-- this stuff is gold) that makes my taste buds go wild. Also, the garnishes are essential. So don't skip out on them. As usual, feel free to switch them up a bit but they add texture and pops of flavor that shouldn't be missed.
roasted eggplant dip...
topped with fresh mint, feta cheese, and toasted pine nuts
A big thank you goes out to Marian from Shake the Tree for sharing this recipe with me. I can't wait for more delicious recipe exchanges!
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
Makes: 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
3 small eggplants (1 - 1 1/2 pounds) to make about 1 1/4 cups when roasted, pulped and sieved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in 2 tablespoons warm water
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
for the garnish-
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
small handful feta cheese
drizzle of olive oil
*note-I think adding a (4 ounce) package of mixed mushrooms to the onion/garlic mixture would be phenomenal. Someone please do this and let me know how it goes?*
- Preheat the oven to 450°. Prick the eggplants several times with a fork and put on a baking sheet. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until soft to the touch. Let cool several minutes and when you are able to handle the eggplants peel off and discard the skin and place the insides in a bowl and mash. Transfer pulp to a sieve to drain while you prepare everything else.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic (and possibly the mushrooms). Cook until golden, about 5-7 minutes, and then add the drained eggplant pulp, cooking for another 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Stir frequently. Take off heat and transfer to a bowl to cool. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Add the yogurt to the cooled eggplant mixture along with the saffron in the now golden water and the smoked paprika. Stir well. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with mint, feta, toasted pine nuts, and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with veggies, pita bread, or anything else your heart desires.