Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Moroccan Eggplant Red Pepper Dip

When it comes to throwing a dinner party, people seem to have some weird belief that you need to impress people with fancy schmancy new things. For me, I love when people make things that are close to their hearts -- be it a family recipe or a dish with a story behind it. As a host, it makes me feel special to share that with people I love and tell the story that goes with a dish. I think guests appreciate a genuine experience, especially a genuinely TASTY one.

I recently had some friends and family over for an evening in and shared recipes I learned on a trip to Morocco. The menu included:

Not only did the menu draw on some of my favorite travel memories, but it was functional for a party. The dip was simple, the chicken took some time and the cake could be made ahead of time. Good to balance out some tougher, more time consuming challenges -- like tagine -- with an easy and quick dip like this.

Turmeric, cumin and ginger are the real stars of this dip. Sure, lots of places have eggplant dips, but these spices give an extra special flavor.

One watch-out... the turmeric can leave yellow marks on porous surfaces -- like certain plastics or cutting boards. The smell and flavor are gone on my food processor blade, but can't figure out how to remove the color. Any one have a suggestion? I think I may soak in some bleachy water. I'll keep you guys posted.

Moroccan Eggplant Red Pepper Dip
1 large eggplant, cubed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ginger
3 tablespoons water
3 roasted red peppers, chopped (if using canned, be sure to drain)
4 whole grain pitas

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and saute for 5-7 minutes, or until completely softened. Add spices and red pepper; stir until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons and cover immediately. Simmer for 4-5 minutes more.

Allow eggplant to cool slightly and then spoon into food processor. Pulse until smooth and remove to a serving dish. Serve with warm pitas.

1 comment:

  1. I have a few white spatulas stained from turmeric and curry, eventually the reddish color fades...usually right about the time I make something else to turned them red again :(.


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