Hello! Happy New Year! And brr. Is it cold where you are? It’s cold cold in St. Louis. To combat the low temps and up our veggie intake après holiday indulgence, I whipped up this roasted spread to nosh on last night. This spread-slash-dip can be slathered onto hunks of crusty bread, dipped with crackers (we used wholesome and hearty Mary’s Gone Cracker), spread on a sandwich, dolloped onto soups, tossed with olive oil on pasta or rice, and so on. Great stuff to have around on cold, winter nights and snowbound days.
The roasted peppers and onion give a big flavor kick; you’ll find the spread hard to put down, which is a great thing when it comes to vegetables, amiright? It was all I could do to not eat the whole batch in one sitting. I enjoyed it hot out of the oven, chilled the next day with lunch, on a baked potato the next day, and at room temp as a dip- all delicious and the room temp option makes this wonderful picnic and party fare. Oscar party fare, perhaps? ‘Tis [almost] the season!
SIMPLE ROASTED EGGPLANT SPREAD
- 1 medium eggplant, top discarded
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 red onion, peeled
- minced garlic cloves, to taste (at least 3), or a tablespoon already-roasted garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher alt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1 1/3 tbsp tomato paste
Preheat your oven to 400. Cut the eggplant, red peppers, and red onion into large, 1-inch dice. In a large bowl, toss the veggies with the raw minced garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Turn out onto a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Your kitchen will smell freaking amazing.
When 45 minutes are up, add the veggie mix, tomato paste, and pre-roasted garlic, if using, to the bowl of a blender or food processor. Pulse a few times until pretty well combined. You want to leave this with some texture, so don’t completely purée it.
The dip was my pre-workout snack before a girl’s night preview of Core3, a new fitness option in St. Louis. Terribly, terribly fun stuff. Core3 blends TRX, RealRyder indoor cycling (the bikes that move laterally), and Surfset indoor surfing. Yes, indoor surfing! My arms, legs, and abs all felt it today and I’m pretty sure I smiled throughout the entire workout. I highly recommend trying Core3- another exhilarating way to beat the bitter winter temps. #cowabunga