It seems like all I do lately is prepare vegetables that the rest of my family won't touch. Yes, it's true! Hey, sometimes a girl has to think of herself! But I found one recipe that converted everyone in the family to eggplant eaters! I nearly fell over.
The farmers market has provided a great variety of eggplant and squash of late. I'll admit I never prepared an eggplant myself until a few years ago. Frankly, once you remove the beautiful purple skin, eggplant just isn't a looker. If it's not prepared properly it's bitter, too. So, a lot of people have a negative feeling about eggplant. I was trying to figure out a healthier way to prepare this vegetable besides making eggplant parmesan. Then I remembered a roasted eggplant spread I saw prepared by Ina Garten that sounded so good. It's simple, it's healthy, and my kid loves it. Just don't tell her it is all vegetable! This also allowed me to use the red peppers and cherry tomatoes we harvested from the garden this week. Perfect.This is great on some warm pita (I like the thick, chewy kind for this), but a hearty cracker would be good as well. I'm also thinking this would make a fantastic spread for a vegetarian sandwich--maybe paired with goat cheese.
Roasted Eggplant Spread
adapted ever so slightly from Ina Garten
1 medium to large eggplant, peeled
2 red peppers
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (this was my addition since I have gobs of them right now)
1 red onion (I used a vidalia since I like sweet roasted onions)
2 cloves of garlic, minced (I used 3)
3 TBSP good olive oil
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 TBSP tomato paste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into one inch chunks. Toss them in a large bowl with cherry tomatoes,garlic, salt and pepper. Spread vegetables on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until vegetables are soft and slightly browned, tossing once during cooking.
Place the vegetables in a food processor and add tomato paste. Pulse vegetables 3-4 times to bind. Taste for salt and pepper.