Roasted Eggplant and Pepper Dip (Gluten Free and Vegan)
Every time I see an eggplant I instantly think of this roasted eggplant and pepper dip. It is very popular in Bulgaria and it is usually served as an appetizer or on top of a freshly baked bread. It is called Kyopolou.
I personally associate this dip with the end of 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 roasted eggplant and pepper dip is low in carbs, vegan, gluten and dairy free.
Helpful Tips about making the dip
Be very careful when you roast or grill the eggplant. If you decide to cook it whole, make some deep cuts on the surface of the eggplant. Eggplants tend to explode when cooked whole. I had a horrible accident with an eggplant at the beginning of last year. I decided to grill an eggplant whole and I poked some holes with a knife in it before putting it on the grill. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough. When I opened the the grill the eggplant exploded and burned me badly. 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 accidents.
If you don’t have an immersion blender you can cut the roasted eggplant finely with a knife. You can also use a food processor.
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. I love to eat it with pita chips, crackers or flat bread. It also goes very well on a toast or bruschetta.
Roasted Eggplant and Pepper Dip
- Immersion blender
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 medium sized garlic cloves pressed or finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or more to taste
- 1 red roasted bell pepper seeds, peels and stem removed
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- salt to taste
To roast the eggplant and bell pepper
- Preheat an oven or a grill to 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 the bell pepper.
To prepare the dip
- Add the roasted and peeled eggplant in a deep bowl with some salt and olive oil. Inset an immersion blender and start blending. You can purée it or make it chunky. It depends on your preference.
- Add the pressed garlic, chopped parsley and vinegar to the bowl with the eggplant. Then chop the roasted pepper to the bowl and stir. Taste for seasoning. If needed add more salt, vinegar or olive oil.
- Top with finely chopped parsley. You can serve right away or store in the fridge for 3-4 days before serving.