Monday, October 6, 2014

Roasted Aubergine, Red Pepper & Garlic Dip

Roasted Aubergine, Red Pepper & Garlic Dip

This is always one of my favourite times of the month - Secret Recipe Club reveal day.  That day when I, along with all my fellow participants, get to reveal our assigned blog (that person we have been "cyber stalking" for the last month) and the dish we have made from their blog.

But I do have a confession to make.  You see, I have committed the worst possible SRC crime - yes, I was supposed to post this a couple of weeks ago, but made a total mix up of dates and left my assigned blog hanging - Amy, how will you ever forgive me?  Thankfully our host, Sarah, has allowed me to atone for my sins by putting up my post this week with a different group.

Anyways, enough about that.  My assigned blog this month was Fearless Homemaker, hosted as you are now aware by Amy.  Raised in Boston, and now living in Nashville, Amy is a self-described food and cocktail lover, enthusiastic entertainer, and crafty DIYer.  Amy has a masters degree in Positive Psychology, and works as a co-ordinator for Cultural Care Au Pair.  She is passionate about cultural exchange, and working with the American host families and their international au pairs to ensure a positive experience for everyone.

Amy had so many recipes I wanted to try (every one of them beautifully photographed), and a number of them have now been pinned for me to make at a later date, like this Slow-Cooker Chicken & Mushroom Farro Risotto, Spaghetti with Oven Roasted Tomatoes & Caramelised Fennel, and this Glazed Lemon Pound Cake.  Actually it was the lemon pound cake that I was intent on making, but with an aubergine hanging around in the veggie bin which was in dire need of being used up, it was Amy's Roasted Eggplant, Red Pepper & Garlic Spread that won the day.

This was quick and easy to prepare, particularly using some ready roasted red peppers as I did - I roast loads of them during the season, and then bottle them in olive oil.  Just perfect for adding to salads, antipasto platters, casseroles, and pasta sauces throughout the rest of the year.  I skipped the onion, since we're not much fussed on it around here, and I added in a little bit of chilli paste for an extra kick, and a bit of paprika for it's lovely smokiness which I think is perfect with eggplant.

This dip is wonderful used, as Amy did, as a spread on fresh bread.  It would also be great served as a dip for other vegetables.  We used it as a rich, flavourful sauce for pasta, and would also be wonderful used as a pizza sauce - a great alternative for those who are sensitive to tomatoes.  This was so good, I made a second batch, which I've now stashed in the freezer ready for a quick mid-week meal.

Roasted Aubergine, Red Pepper & Garlic Dip
Adapted from this recipe at Fearless Homemaker
Click here for the free recipe card

1x medium sized aubergine, cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) cubes
olive oil
flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
3x roasted red peppers, preserved in olive oil, drained and roughly chopped
(or 2x fresh red peppers, deseeded and cut into 2.5cm (1 inch) chunks)
2x cloves garlic, unpeeled and left whole
2 teaspoons chilli paste
1 teaspoon smoky paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste (leave this out if you are sensitive to tomatoes)

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C (425 degrees F).

Toss eggplant cubes and garlic cloves with a generous slosh of olive oil, and a good seasoning of flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  (If you're using fresh red peppers, toss them in as well.)

Line a shallow roasting tray with baking parchment and spread vegetables in a single layer over the tray.  Place tray in the oven and roast until tender and golden - about 20 to 30 minutes.  (Keep an eye on the garlic - it can burn quickly, so you may want to remove it half way through.) Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.

Squeeze garlic cloves out of their skins, and add them to a food processor, along with the eggplant and peppers.  Blitz to a coarse paste.  Add the chilli paste, paprika, tomato paste, and a generous slosh of olive oil (I used the reserved oil from the roasted peppers).  Process until you reach a spreadable consistency.  Taste and season with extra sea salt and pepper if desired.

Hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did, and visit the links below to check out all the other great dishes my Secret Recipe Club friends made.

Also shared at Hearth and Soul, hosted by the lovely April J. Harris.





25 comments:

  1. Wow! This dip looks amazing! I'd love to serve this over the Christmas holidays with green and white-colored veggies and chips! Nice choice for the SRC! :D

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    1. Great idea, Kelly. I might do the same thing myself :-)

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  2. I'm sure that Amy will forgive you, especially since you did her dip such justice :)

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    1. Thanks, Bec - you're right, Amy did very kindly forgive me.

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  3. This looks like a fantastic dip - would be great for game days! Awesome #SRC pick :-)

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    1. Thanks, Amanda - yes perfect for those occasions.

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  4. This looks so tasty...love the flavors going on here!

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  5. I forgive you, I forgive you, I forgive you! No hard feelings - date mix-ups happen. =) Thank you so much for all your kind words about my blog and this dish - I am thrilled that you loved it, and I love your idea as using as a pasta sauce. Yum! And you will have to try that lemon pound cake - it is DIVINE! Cheers! Amy

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    1. Thank you so much, Amy - you're very kind. Glad you like the pasta sauce idea - it really was fantastic over pasta. I will definitely me making the lemon pound cake - lemons are very plentiful here right now, so it's the perfect time.

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  6. Sounds awesome. There's something similar called ajvar - popular in Balkans etc.

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    1. Thanks, Three-Cookies. That's interesting - I've never heard of ajvar, but I will definitely check it out.

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  7. The dip looks very creamy and delicious, Sue. I have never made a dip with peppers and eggplants together...love the deep gorgeous red colour.

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    1. Thanks, Angie. The peppers and eggplant are really great together. The colour is amazing isn't it - and it really was that colour - I didn't enhance it at all.

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  8. mmm, this looks so good! don't worry about the date issue, mix ups are normal. beautiful photos and a delicious-sounding recipe!

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  9. It's very red, so festive to have on a table for appies. I am sure you will be forgiven for being a little late in posting since you are such a nice person AND you made this awesome dip! I'll bet it doesn't last long at get-togethers.

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    1. It is very festive looking isn't it? I can see this finding it's way onto a few platters over the round of summer get togethers. Thank you so much for your kind words xo

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  10. I think this is the same as ajvar. I discovered this at my favorite restaurant. She uses it as a dip, but also a spoon or two in a fish stew. Delish.

    Madonna
    MakeMineLemon

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    1. Thanks, Madonna. Putting a couple of spoonfuls into a fish stew is a brilliant idea - I can't wait to give that a try.

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  11. "That person we have been "cyber stalking" for the last month." Ha ha ha! Selfishly, I'm glad you got to post with Group A. I often do not get the opportunity to check out all of the bloggers in the other groups, so it was nice to come across your blog this way.

    It's funny; I've read Amy's blog for some time, and I do not recall this recipe. It sounds so interesting, and I definitely want to try it as a pasta sauce like you suggest. I guess this is proof that not only does the SRC connect bloggers, it gives bloggers another chance at recipes they've overlooked. Very nice!

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    1. Thanks for your lovely comment, LeAndra. Yes, it's lovely to have the opportunity to meet and connect with a different group of bloggers this time around. Definitely a few there that I will be keeping a close eye on :-)

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  12. I've pinned this to my Appetizers board, Sue. Your Roasted Aubergine, Red Pepper and Garlic dip looks amazing! If you have time to share it with Hearth and Soul it would be perfect :-)

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    1. Thanks, April. I'll definitely swing by on Tuesday and link up.

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  13. What an absolutely fabulous looking dip! The color is gorgeous - I want some right now. What a wonderful pick this month!!

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