Roasted Eggplant Spread

Roasted Eggplant Spread is scrumptious with crackers or toasted baguette slices.  It's very good dolloped on top of ravioli, as a substitute for red sauce.  It's hard to stop eating once you get started; thankfully it's healthy for us.

I've served this up many times to friends and as the weekend snack food.  The recipe comes out of The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.  I didn't follow it exactly, because I don't always have tahini or parsley on hand.  I'm a cilantro person. And I always forget the cayenne pepper and lemon juice. Anyhoo.  Even without these ingredients, my version leaves folks craving for more.

For Ina's recipe, buy the book, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.  It's loaded with wonderful grown up recipes that would make you the star of any gathering.

HERE'S ALL IT TAKES

  • 1 large eggplant, peeled
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded
  • 1 red onion, peeled
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper

Heat the oven to 400ºF.

Cut the eggplant, bell pepper and onion into 1-inch pieces.  Pile the vegetables on a large baking sheet.  Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over vegetables; toss with clean hands to ensure that the vegetables are well coated but not too oily.  Add a couple of pinches of salt and pepper, hand toss again.

Roast anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing once during cooking.  Cool slightly.

Place the veggies in a food processor fitted with the steel blade and pulse 3 to 4 times to blend.  Taste for salt and pepper.  Pour into a serving bowl surrounded with crackers, toasted bread slices, pita bread and EAT UP!

Like I mentioned earlier, it's also good as a topping on ravioli.  I would even eat it as a filling for pita sandwiches along with a few chickpeas and fresh spinach tucked in. Okay, now my mouth is watering.