Roasted Eggplant Dip

Makes: 8-10 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 small eggplants (1 - 1 1/2 pounds) to make about 1 1/4 cups when roasted, pulped and sieved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in 2 tablespoons warm water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • for the garnish-
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • small handful feta cheese
  • drizzle of olive oil

*note-I think adding a (4 ounce) package of mixed mushrooms to the onion/garlic mixture would be phenomenal.  Someone please do this and let me know how it goes?*

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°.  Prick the eggplants several times with a fork and put on a baking sheet.  Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until soft to the touch.  Let cool several minutes and when you are able to handle the eggplants peel off and discard the skin and place the insides in a bowl and mash.  Transfer pulp to a sieve to drain while you prepare everything else.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic (and possibly the mushrooms).  Cook until golden, about 5-7 minutes, and then add the drained eggplant pulp, cooking for another 5 minutes over medium-low heat.  Stir frequently.  Take off heat and transfer to a bowl to cool.  Season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the yogurt to the cooled eggplant mixture along with the saffron in the now golden water and the smoked paprika.  Stir well.  Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with mint, feta, toasted pine nuts, and a drizzle of olive oil.  Serve with veggies, pita bread, or anything else your heart desires.