This dip is a constant request from the families I cook for because it's simply satisfying and healthy- perfect for guilt free snacking!
Since eggplant is like a sponge and absorbs whatever it's cooked in, the trick here is that it's steamed!
I remove a majority of the water the eggplant absorbs so that the dip isn't too thin- and the other ingredients kick in the flavor.
INGREDIENTS: (makes 1½ cups)
- 1 eggplant (approximately 1¼ #), peeled and cut into ½” pieces
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 large garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- juice of 1 lemon, (about 2½ tbsp.)
-Steam the eggplant over generously salted water for 10 minutes.tip1
-Place eggplant in a fine mesh strainer and using the back of large spoon, press eggplant to remove water; reserve.tip2
-In a medium pot over medium-low heat, add the olive oil.
-When olive oil is warm, turn heat to low and add the onions and salt and sweat out for 8-10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes.tip3
-Add the garlic and thyme and continue to sweat for another 2 minutes.tip4
-Mix in the tomato sauce and continue to cook out for another 1 minute until it appears rusty red in color.tip5
-Transfer the eggplant, onion-tomato mixture and lemon juice to a food processor and pulse until all incorporated.tip6
1. Eggplant should hold no resistance when pierced with a fork.
2. Removing the moisture from the eggplant allows for a thicker dip.
3. Stirring ensures even cooking; you are looking for the onions to appear translucent with golden edges.
4. I add the garlic after because it cooks quicker than the onions.
5. Cooking the tomato paste allows it to take on a nice depth of flavor and mellows out some of the acidity flavor.
6. I prefer for this dip to have some texture, but if you like smoother dips, pulse away. Serve room temp, cold or hot!