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Charred Eggplant Dip

 1 large eggplant
 1/4 cup sunflower/olive oil
 1 red or green bell pepper
 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (optional)
 1/2 or 1 whole hot pepper (to your spicy preferences)-- jalapeƱo, Hungarian, banana, longhorn, or poblano
 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
 1/4 cup fresh parsley or cilantro, minced
 1/2 red onion, minced
 Juice from 1 whole lemon (appx 2 tbsp)
 Feta, optional, for garnish

Preheat your oven to high broil position. Can also be done on the grill. Line a cookie sheet with tinfoil for easy clean up, and brush it with some olive/sunflower oil. Cut the eggplant in half and place on the foil-lined baking pan, cut/flesh side down. Use a fork to poke some holes in the skin of the eggplant so it doesn't burst under the high heat. Brush the skin with some more oil.


Broil the eggplant for about 20 minutes total, flipping it every 5 minutes or so to prevent too much charring on one side.


Meanwhile, in a serving bowl, add your chopped bell peppers, hot peppers, red onion, basil, and parsley or cilantro. In a separate bowl, add your lemon juice and the remaining oil from the original quarter cup.


Remove the eggplant from the oven and allow to cool on cutting board. When it's cool enough to handle, use a serrated knife to remove any super blackened top crust from the flesh side, and discard. Use a spoon and scoop out the flesh into the bowl with the olive oil and lemon juice, and mix well, until all the oil is absorbed.


Mix the eggplant into the peppers & herbs, and add salt to taste. If the eggplant is too bitter for you add some honey or maple syrup. Serve at room temperature or chilled.