Healthy, flavorful and even better made in advance, this eggplant dip is perfect for a party or stored in the frig for guilt-free snacking.
Some things improve with age. I’d like to think that I’m one of them. Sure, our skin becomes a little less smooth and elastic, the metabolism slows and we don’t bounce back from a wild night quite so quickly, but I wouldn’t set the clock back.
I wouldn’t trade the bruised knees, bad perms, or broken hearts. All the concerts, parties and milestones. The late nights rocking babies, rainy day snuggles and little pudgy arms reaching up to encircle my neck. I’d like to think that I’m a little more patient, kinder, more humble. And all of this thanks simply to the passage of time.
Of course not everything gets better as it ages. Especially in the world of food. Milk spoils, bread goes stale and greens wilt. But some recipes benefit from an extra day or two to develop, allowing the flavors to meld and deepen. This grilled eggplant dip is a great example.
This dip comes together quickly after the eggplant is grilled until soft and slightly charred. Once it’s cool enough to handle, the soft flesh is scooped out and blended with fresh herbs, creamy yogurt and a burst of acid from vinegar and lemon. Sure, you could dig right in, but if you plan ahead, this dip is even better the next day. Or even the day after that.
It’s bright, briny, a little bit smoky and is best scooped up with a homemade pita crisp. These homemade pita crisps are so much better than store-bought and very simple to make. They’re light and crunchy and bake up in minutes. Of course you’ll have plenty of time to make them while you wait for your dip to improve with time. To borrow a line from one of the great philosophers of my youth, Mr. Axl Rose, sometimes all we need is just a little patience. See how wise I’ve become with age?
- Grilled Eggplant Dip
- 3 lbs eggplant 2 large
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium shallot minced
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/4 cup parsley minced
- 1/4 cup chives minced
- 1 1/2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1 Tbsp capers
- Minced chives and parsley for garnish if desired
- Pita Crisps
- 3 round whole wheat pita breads split into two rounds each
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 freshly grond black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
Eggplant Dip: Preheat grill to medium high and prick eggplant all over with a fork.
Grill eggplant, turning occasionally, until outside is charred and inside is very soft, about 40 mins.
Remove eggplant from the grill and allow to cool slightly. Halve the eggplant, scoop out the flesh and place into the bowl of food processor. I like to remove some of the bigger clumps of seeds, but that's optional.
Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a small nonstick pan over medium heat.
Add the shallots and the garlic and cook until golden brown, about 8-10 mins
Add the cooked shallots and garlic to the eggplant in the food processor.
Add all of the remaining ingredients except the capers to the food processor and blend for about a 1 minute.
Spoon into a bowl and mix the capers into the dip.
Sprinkle with parsley and chives if desired and serve with the pita crisps.
*The dip is delicious the day it's made, but the flavor develops and improves over the next day or two if you can wait! Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Pita Crisps: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut each split round of pita into 6 wedges (like a pie) and lay in a single layer on two sheet pans.
Drizzle or brush with olive oil, and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Bake for about 15 mins or until golden brown and crisp.