Roasted vegetable dip.

So the last few days I’ve been thinking about food and cooking. I love to cook, and I love to share the food I cook. Unfortunately time and money tend to get in the way a lot, but I feel like sharing what I do get a chance to create will be fun. If I can ever find the cord that attaches my camera to my computer I’ll also upload some lovely photos.

On my way back from Gatton yesterday I stopped in at a lovely fresh food market and picked up a stash of beautiful fresh fruit and vegetables. It gave me warm fussies to see that they were all Aussie grown, most of them locally. So I got this beautiful purple eggplant.  I’ve never cooked with eggplant before. And disregarding the interesting experience of my brother attempting to stirfry 2 square inch pieces of it, I haven’t had all that much experience eating it either. But something that shiny and purple has to have powers right? So after a search on foodgawker.com, a new addiction of mine, I found a fantastic dip made from roasted eggplant, tomato, eshallots, sweet potato, garlic and capsicum. Add a little lemon and pepper and voila, dip!

I’d have to say, my measurements were a tad unorthodox, pretty much what I thought looked right… And I didn’t have the mint so that was scrapped. The vegetables were so delightful when they came out of the oven that I only made half of them into a dip. The over half were drisseled with some lemon juice and cracked pepper and gobbled up as they were! The beautiful produce made all the difference. The original recipe is below, for your culinary delight!

Roasted Vegetable Spread or Dip

1 3/4 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (or yams)
8 oz. eggplant (any variety)
1 red bell pepper
2 medium tomatoes
4 green onions
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
10 large fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Toasted baguette slices or crackers

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut red-skinned sweet potatoes (or yams), eggplants, tomatoes, and red bell pepper into 1-inch chunks. Cut green onions into 3-inch lengths. Place all of the vegetables in a single layer on a large baking sheet and toss with olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

Roast the vegetables until soft, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

Place the roasted vegetables, lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, and fresh mint leaves in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the spread to a serving dish and serve at room temperature with toasted baguette slices or crackers.

Makes about 3 cups spread.

Enjoy!

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