I bought a jar of Calabrian Crushed Chilis and was thinking about what I could use it for. My first thought was a Pasta Sauce and that morphed into a pasta sauce with Eggplant and then I decided I really wanted a dip! I call it Italian only because the Chlis came from Italy. Otherwise, this dip could be seasoned with other Chilis from other areas of the Mediterranean and Middle East. And I think it would make a great sandwich spread too!
I took one large Eggplant and cut it up into cubes along with an Onion, some Garlic Cloves and some Tomatoes, tossed them with Olive Oil and Salt and Roasted them. When they were done, I pureed them in a food processor and added in a dollop of the Calabrian Chilis. It was so good! Served with some Rice Crackers, we ate it all up. Roasting all the Garlic and Onion mellows them and the Calabrian Chilis add just enough heat to make it interesting. I will be making this again and again!
Italian Roasted Eggplant Dip
1 large Globe Eggplant, trimmed and cut into 1" cubes
1 large Onion, trimmed and peeled and cut into 1" chunks
4 - 6 Roma Tomatoes
3 Garlic Cloves
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Calabrian Crushed Chilis
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a larger bowl, toss the Eggplant, Onion and Garlic with the Olive Oil. Pour onto a large sheet pan and add the Tomatoes. Sprinkle with the Salt. Cook for 45 - 55 minutes, turning at least once. Let the vegetables cool slightly, then remove Tomato peels if desired.
Put all the vegetables plus the Calabrian Crushed Chilis in a food processor (or use a stick blender in a bowl) and puree. Serve as a dip with crackers.
Five Element Analysis
Eggplant with its dark purple skin and many seeds is a Water Food. The Olive Oil adds the Wood Element and the Tomatoes and Calabrian Chilis contribute the Fire Element. The Onion and Garlic bring in the Metal Element, but they cook for so long that they get Earthy to. This simple dip is fairly balanced all by itself!