Roasted eggplant and garlic dip

Watch the family flock to the table when you serve this finger-licking good, very versatile dip with the crispy, toasted high fiber, pita chips that can be prepared in a snap if you follow the simple recipe instructions. Quite the crowd pleaser, this veggie dip makes a delicious spread for toasted English muffins, crusty bread, whole grain crackers or as a dip with vegetables.

This versatile eggplant dip may be served with crusty bread too or as a sandwich spread. © Copyright July 2015 Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE

This versatile eggplant dip may be served with crusty bread  or as a sandwich spread. © Copyright 2015-2017,  Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE

For the dip:

Veggies before roasting. © Copyright July 2015 Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE

Figure 1:Veggies before roasting.
© Copyright 2015-2017, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant, diced. (Figure 1)
  • 2 large red peppers, diced. (Figure 1)
  • 7-8 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved.
  • 1 medium  onion, diced.
  • 2.5 tbsp olive oil, divided.
  • 5-6 fresh basil leaves.
  • 3 tsp apple cider vinegar.
  • ¾ tsp salt.
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes.
Roasted veggies. © Copyright July 2015 Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE

Figure 2: Roasted veggies.
© Copyright 2015-2017, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE

Method:

    1. Preheat oven to 390 degrees Fahrenheit.
    2. Toss eggplant, onion, red peppers and garlic with 1.5 tbsp olive oil in a bowl.
    3.  Arrange in a single layer on a large, greased, rimmed baking sheet and roast vegetables in the preheated oven for approximately 35-40 minutes.
    4. About half way through the process, flip vegetables to allow even roasting on both sides
    5. Vegetables are done when they look somewhat shriveled but should not get completely charred. (See figure 2)
    6. Remove baking sheet from the oven and transfer to a heat-resistant surface to cool.
    7. Once completely cooled, blend roasted veggies, 1 tbsp of the remaining olive oil, fresh basil, salt, vinegar and red pepper flakes in the jar of a food processor until pulverized to a somewhat chunky paste. (Figure 3)
    8. Refrigerate any remaining dip in an airtight glass container and use within 3 days.

For the pita chips

Ingredients:

2 high fiber, round pita pockets

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp dried basil

 © Copyright July 2015 Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE


Eggplant dip with home-made, high fiber pita chips. © Copyright  2015 -2017, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 390 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. With a sharp knife, cut one of the round pita pocket along the circumference to separate the 2 halves, so you end up with 2 pita “circles”
  3. Cut each pita circle horizontally, vertically and then twice diagonally to yield 8 triangular pita chips per circle or 16 between the 2 pita circles
  4. Repeat the process with remaining pita pocket, so you get a total of 32 pita “chips”
  5. Stir dried basil into the olive oil.
  6. Using a pastry brush, brush all pita chips lightly with the olive oil-basil mixture until coated.
  7. Stick in the preheated oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until crisp and crunchy.
This versatile eggplant dip may be served with crusty bread too or as a sandwich spread. © Copyright July 2015 Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE

Figure 3: This versatile eggplant dip may be served with crusty bread too, or as a sandwich spread.
© Copyright 2015-2017,  Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE

Roasted eggplant, fresh garlic and red pepper dip, lacto-vegetarian version

Roasted eggplant, fresh garlic and red pepper dip, lacto-vegetarian version. © Copyright 2015-2017, Sangeeta Pradhan, RD, LDN, CDE

A Registered Dietitian’s tip: Eggplant contains a group of phytochemicals called anthocyanins.  Anthocyanins come under the umbrella of the flavonoid group of phytochemicals and serve as powerful antioxidants. Their vibrant, red/blue and purple coloring makes the flavonoids very recognizable and conspicuous members of the flavonoid family. These compounds are particularly abundant in red cabbage, eggplants, berries and their juices, and in red and purple grapes, red wine, cherries and black plums.

Although we do not completely understand the health benefits of anthocyanins, their proposed benefits  include improved visual acuity ( sharpness of vision), ability to decrease cancer cell proliferation, cardiovascular disease prevention (by reduction of free radical formation or oxidative stress) and the prevention of age related neurodegenerative diseases.

The home-made pita chips are really easy and quick to make. In so doing, you avoid eating the highly processed, commercial preparations of tortilla or corn chips, laced with preservatives. I recommend getting high fiber, whole grain pita bread for the chips.

Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor or registered dietitian for recommendations tailored for your unique needs

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About Sangeeta Pradhan RD, CDE

Hi there! Welcome to my blog! If you are confused with all the conflicting messages you get bombarded with every day on carbs, fats, proteins, gluten and anything you can think of related to nutrition, look no further! The purpose of my blog is to cut through all this clutter, utilizing scientific, evidence based guidelines to help you, the consumer, navigate the complex, dietary landscape, and thus empower you to make informed decisions.
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