Roasted Eggplant, Garlic & Sun-Dried Tomato Dip
I created this recipe by literally trailing the caterer at an engagement party many years ago on Block Island! She was nice enough to dictate how she made it as she rounded the room, and I scribbled it all down on a cocktail napkin, then adjusted it over time.
It’s a fantastic heart-healthy crudite—and since the recipe was created by a caterer, it’s even easier to prepare (no chopping!) than the equally delicious Roasted Eggplant Spread. Several of my friends have asked for this recipe and I love that it involves virtually NO chopping/dicing.
Also…I despise sun-dried Tomatoes so I was surprised that I loved this recipe; if you are not a sun-dried tomato fan, consider trying this recipe anyway…
I adapted this recipe from a caterer on Block Island - literally wrote out her directions on a cocktail napkin and made some modifications.
- 1 eggplant
- 1 head garlic whole
- ½ cup olive oil plus some for roasting garlic
- 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes NOT salted
- 1 bunch / handful of fresh basil to taste
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Handful of pine nuts toasted, about 1/4 cup
- Choice of: Crudite, Toasted bread, crackers, pita bread triangles to serve
Preheat oven to 400°F. In toaster oven, lightly toast the pine nuts (it's very quick.)
Slice eggplant in half lengthwise, put cut-side down on a well-oiled cookie sheet (use stick-free foil to cut down on cleanup, still use olive oil). Bake until soft, about 25 minutes (roast garlic – see #3 – at same time). Remove eggplant from cookie sheet (or flip up so cut side up) and let cool.
Peel outer layer of 1 head of garlic, but keep whole --don’t split into cloves. Place in a foil square and drozzle with olive oil. Tightly crimp foil closed and place on corner of the cookie sheet with eggplant on it. Bake at 400 degrees until soft -- about 30 minutes. Open foil and let cool, keeping garlic in the oil.
“Squirt” garlic out of cloves and into bowl of food processor. Add ½ cup olive oil, and about a cup of sun-dried tomatoes (not salted). Blend till fine.
Scoop out the meat of the eggplant using a spoon, add it to food processor (discard skin)
Add the rest of ingredients to food processor and then blend until coarsely chopped. Specifically, add: a handful of coarsely chopped fresh basil (or more to taste), Salt, Pepper, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and the toasted pine nuts
Serve with choice or mix of: crudite, toasted bread, crackers, pita bread triangles.
If you don't care for sun-dried tomatoes, consider trying this recipe anyway! Personally, I detest sun-dried tomatoes but to me, this recipe doesn't taste at all like sundried tomatoes... it just works!