The last two weeks have been an absolute blur, what with the baking and sewing and papier mache-ing for two parties. So, apologies for the radio silence the last few days. I have been absolutely covered in paint, sprinkles, and cake batter, and I thought it would be unwise to type in that condition. Also, I was so completely crazed that I nearly pulled an undergrad-like all-nighter on Saturday. For real.
In the aftermath of the madness, I was a little unsure where to start my blog posts. Then my friend e-mailed me and asked for the recipe for the spicy eggplant dip I served at my birthday party, so that seemed like a logical place to begin.
I can’t totally take credit for the recipe. It comes from a Bon Appetit Cookbook from 2003, called Best Entertaining Recipes.
I promise there will be so many Peter Pan Party posts in the next two weeks that you will be like, “Listen, I’m over your birthday — and that troublesome little boy in green tights.”
So, anyway, here’s the recipe. I have modified it slightly by decreasing the amount of salt used. (This is because I serve it with store-bought pita chips and they are saltier than the toasted pita chips used in the original recipe.)
Spicy Eggplant Dip
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1/2 C extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons minced garlic (I don’t really measure this, to be honest.)
2 tsp coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 1-pound eggplants, peeled, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
4 red bell peppers, seeded, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 large red onions, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
Fresh parsley as garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray the two large baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk oil, garlic, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper in a large bowl. Add eggplant, bell peppers, and onions to the bowl; toss to coat with seasoned oil. Divide the mixture between the two baking sheets. Roast until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned, turning occasionally, about 35 minutes. Cool 15 minutes on the baking sheets.
Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to the food processor. Process until a coarse puree forms. Transfer mixture to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
Garnish with parsley to serve (optional). You can also mix in 3 T of chopped parsley before serving, but I don’t think it really adds that much flavor.
This can be made two days ahead, but I’d wait to add the parsley if you’re going that route.