Eggplant and Bell Pepper Dip
Every time I see an eggplant I instantly think of this eggplant and bell pepper dip. This is a recipe I grew up eating. It is very popular in Bulgaria and it is usually served as an appetizer or on top of a freshly baked bread.
I personally associate this dip with the Summer. That is when we usually buy the first sweet peppers and eggplants. When I was a child, I could only eat this dip when we buy local produce. Now there is an import in Bulgaria from all parts of the world, and we have eggplants and peppers all year long. But that wasn’t the case when I was growing up.
This eggplant and bell pepper dip is low in carbs, vegan, gluten and grain free.
Be very careful when you roast the eggplant. If you decide to bake it whole poke some deep holes with a knife through its surface. Eggplants tend to explode when cooked whole. I had a horrible accident with an eggplant at the beginning of this year. I decided to grill an eggplant whole and although I poked some holes in it, before putting it on the grill, it exploded and burned me horribly. There are still some scars on my arms from that accident. I recommend cutting the eggplant in half, lengthwise. You will reduce the bake time in half, and you will prevent explosions.
You decide what texture and consistency will the dip have. I personally prefer it chunky, but you can make it very smooth if you puree it with an immersion blender. You are in control of flavors too. If you don’t like garlic as much you can omit it. I personally love garlic and sometimes I add double the amount I listed in this recipe. Salt, vinegar and olive oil can also be adjusted depending on your likings. Different brands of salt olive oil and vinegar have different taste. Therefore, use your best judgment when you season your dip.
How to Serve it?
This dip goes very well topped with crumbled feta or with roasted, salted walnuts. Give it enough time to chill in the fridge, because it is best when it is eaten cold. It can be served with pita chips, crackers or flat bread. It also goes very well on a toast or bruschetta.
Eggplant and Bell Pepper Dip
- Immersion blender
- 1 large eggplant
- 2 medium sized garlic cloves pressed or finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 red roasted bell pepper
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- salt to taste
- To roast the eggplant and the bell pepper preheat an oven or a grill 450F. Split the eggplant in half and remove the stem and seeds from the bell pepper. Roast them until the eggplant is soft and the outside of the bell pepper is charred. Place them in a pot with a lid and allow them to cool down for 10 minutes.
- Then peel the eggplant and put it in a bowl.
- Add the garlic, salt, olive oil, and vinegar to the same bowl and use an immersion blender to chop the eggplant. I don’t puree it because I like my dip chunky, but you can make it smooth if that is your preference.
- Peel the bell pepper, chop it to half inch pieces and add it to the bowl with the eggplant.
- Then add the chopped parsley, stir well and check for seasoning. If needed add more salt, vinegar or olive oil.