smoky eggplant dip with olives and feta

Smoky Eggplant Dip with Olives & Feta

 

smoky eggplant dip with olives and feta

Smoky Eggplant Dip with Olives & Feta

Inspired by Greek Melitzanosalata, this dip mixes silky, smoky eggplant with salty-savory olives and feta. 
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
refrigeration 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine American, Mediterranean

Ingredients
  

  • 2 medium-large eggplants
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • 2-3 oz crumbled feta
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes and more for garnish
  • 1/3 cup halved Kalamata olives about 15 olives
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375. Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise. Use the end of a knife to deeply score the eggplants in a 1/2 inch cube pattern without slicing through the skin. Brush with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place cut side down on a baking sheet and bake until the eggplants fully collapse into themselves and the edges start to look charred, about 45 minutes.
  • Remove the eggplant to a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Scoop the eggplant out of the skins onto a cutting board and finely chop. Discard the skins and return the eggplant to the bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to evenly combine.
  • Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight before serving.
  • When ready to serve, garnish with more red pepper flakes and olives if desired.

Notes

  • Take care not to completely burn the eggplant, you just want the edges to be nicely browned and slightly caramelized to mimic a smoky grilled flavor. 
  • I normally don't use this gadget but if you have it, a garlic press is perfect for this recipe, just press the garlic directly over the bowl of eggplant pulp. 
  • You can roast the eggplant and scoop out the pulp the day before you want to serve it. Store it in the fridge and pick up on step 3 the next day. 
  • Grilling the eggplant on a charcoal grill makes for an even smokier tasting dip. 
Keyword side dish, snacks

Unofficial eggplant week continues here at the Rappaport house. I was overcome with eggplant lust at Aldi last week and brought home three(!) eggplants that were taking up way too much room in my fridge.  I made lamb “stuffed” eggplant with one (although I scaled the recipe up to call for two when I posted it–I ended up with half of the lamb leftover) and then this dip. I’ve made some similar dips over the years but I normally go for more a Middle Eastern flare. I love melitzanosalata and was thinking about making that but since I’m shopping less frequently, I don’t have any parsley on hand which I feel is pretty essential. So instead I made this dip which is sort of the “loaded baked potato” version of melitzanosalata. Same basic concept–lemon, garlic, and eggplant–but adding in feta, red pepper flakes, and olives. I think they added a lot of savory flavor and important to me, texture to the dip. I love how silky eggplant gets when you roast or grill it and I always hand chop it for dips vs food processing it but I really enjoy some heft to dips I’m going to scoop up with pita or flatbreads. If you like a smoother dip, finely chop the olives and sprinkle it with feta as a garnish prior to serving.

I served this with pita/flatbread, spicy, sauce-less chicken meatballs, and stuffed grape leaves for an appetizers-for-dinner type deal. My favorite way to eat.

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