Eggplant and roasted red pepper dip

Two of my favorite Middle Eastern dips, Baba ghanoush and Muhammara, have inspired this recipe. I roasted the eggplant with the red peppers the easy way, that is diced up and tossed with olive oil, then I puréed them in the blender, later adding the toasted breadcrumbs for texture. The result was creamy and flavorful, a beautiful marriage of the two original mezze staples.

- 1 medium eggplant, diced
- 2 red peppers, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, mashed
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs, toasted 
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lemon, juiced (or more, to taste)
- salt and pepper, to taste

Place the eggplant and pepper on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil. Roast at 400 F until tender and some edges are slightly charred. Place the eggplant, peppers (and oil in which they cooked), garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper into a blender and pulse until smooth. Remove from blender and add the toasted breadcrumbs. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with bread and enjoy!

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