Saturday, August 11, 2012

Roasted eggplant dip with saffron, caramelized onion and walnuts

The other day on a trip to Belfast, I stocked up on the vegetables at Chase’s Daily again. There was so much to choose from, and the quality is exquisite. Eggplant of all different shapes, sizes and colors was one of the vegetables I bought. Now, what to do with it? I made a delicious eggplant dip with caramelized onions, garlic, some saffron, mint and creme fraiche. Best with crackers or pita chips!

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Roasted Eggplant dip with saffron, caramelized onion and walnuts (makes 2 servings)
  • 1 large eggplants, roasted & mashed
  • 2 TB olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoons dried mint leaves
  • 1 tablespoon creme fraiche
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in 2 tablespoons of hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • garnish with chopped walnuts, caramelized onions & fresh chopped mint
Preheat the oven to 400F.  Cut the eggplant into quarter, coat it with some olive oil, place the eggplant skin side up and roast the pieces until the skin is charred and the eggplant releases liquid. Remove from the oven, and let it cool for 10 minutes.
Heat a saute pan and add 1 TB olive oil. Add the thinly sliced onions (best with a mandoline) and caramelize the onion on low to medium heat. It will take 5-10min. Continue stirring. Now add garlic & mint and saute for 2 minutes.
Place the cooled eggplant in a food processor, and chop (or smash by hand with a fork). (Note: I left used the eggplant skin on since it was not charred very much, and chopping it in the food processor was easier). Add the roasted eggplant mixture to the caramelized onions {save some for garnish}, saffron liquid, lemon juice, turmeric powder and some salt and pepper. Saute for few more minutes.
Mix the creme fraiche with 2 TB of hot water to dilute it, and add to the eggplant mix.
Serve the dip on a plate, and garnish with caramelized onions, toasted chopped walnuts, and  chopped fresh mint.

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