One of the my favorite things to do is roast veggies like Brussels sprouts, fingerling potatoes, carrots, fennel and green beans. I add them to salads, soups, chilis and purees. Today’s vegetable du jour is eggplant.
Along with this month’s Recipe Redux theme: Do It Yourself (DIY) Kitchen Essentials – What favorite kitchen staples do you know make from scratch – but in the past you purchased? I am roasting eggplant with garlic, shallots and a hint of smoked paprika and olive oil and whipping it up into a dip – a.k.a. DIY baba ghanoush.
This Mediterranean aubergine delicacy works well as a spread on crusty bread, dolloped into a pita with veggies, dressing grilled chicken breast or fish, and as a raw veggie crudité dip. It’s so simple to whip up, that it’s become a condiment and snack staple in my house. I zip up my baba ghanoush with spices like smoked paprika, turmeric, curry or cayenne for an added flavor boost. A common ingredient in baba ghanoush is tahini, sesame seed paste, but I didn’t have any on hand so I added whole toasted sesame seeds to the roasted eggplant prior to pureeing it. It was not as smooth, but it had a tasty crunchy texture. . .
For a mere 35 calories in a cup of eggplant, you get a lot of nutritional bang. You may not realize that this white fleshed veggie with the shiny purple skin contains many vital nutrients – namely, phenolic compounds called anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that fend off cell damage. There’s one in particular called nasunin in eggplant, which has been shown to be beneficial for protecting brain cells from damage. So that’s good news!
Makes 3 cups
2 medium eggplants, diced
1 small shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds or 1 Tablespoon tahini
1 small lemon, juiced
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Place eggplant, shallots, garlic, olive oil, paprika and salt into an oven safe bowl. Toss until combined and put in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, stir and return to oven to bake for another 20 minutes. Repeat until eggplant is soft and turning golden brown. Remove from oven to cool for a few minutes.
In a food processor, add sesame seeds, eggplant mixture and lemon juice. Pulse until well blended. Spoon into a small bowl for a dip or into a plastic container to store in the fridge for later use. Keeps well in the refrigerator for a week in an air-tight container.
Nutrition information (per tablespoon): Calories: 15, Total Fat: 1 g, Saturated Fat: 0 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium 49 mg, Carbohydrates: 2 g, Dietary Fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 0 g
Enjoy eating simply,
-Vicki[inlinkz_linkup id=519938 mode=1]