Red Pepper Spread with Roasted Eggplant & Garlic ~ Diane's Vintage Zest!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Red Pepper Spread with Roasted Eggplant & Garlic

Today, I am sharing one of my new favorite recipes!  I love this recipe for a couple of reasons: it is a creamy, delicious spread that is wonderful on sandwiches, as a dip for flatbread or veggies, or even over pasta or chicken!  Although it is a tasty addition to nearly every dish and tastes decadent, it is completely healthy, made with only vegetables.  Not only is it delicious and nutritious, it is super easy and requires very little effort.  That's a winning recipe in my book!

Oh, and for those of you who think that you dislike eggplant (like my man), this recipe will convert you.


Red Pepper Spread with Roasted Eggplant and Garlic on Vintage Zest


After the recipe, you will want to see a couple of serving suggestions for this delicious spread, and a couple of modifications that you can try out.  Yum!


Red Pepper Spread with Roasted Eggplant and Garlic on Vintage Zest


The inspiration for this recipe came from a trip to one of my favorite stores: Trader Joe's!  I love trying out healthy spreads, and as much as I love hummus, I was in the mood for something a bit different.

Also, I had a few eggplants from my huge $2 box of produce, and I already used one for my Easy Eggplant Parmesan recipe.  So I was determined to recreate this delicious spread ASAP!


Red Pepper Spread with Roasted Eggplant and Garlic on Vintage Zest


Red Pepper Spread with Roasted Eggplant & Garlic
A Vintage Zest original



Ingredients
  • 2 medium eggplants, diced into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 head garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 12 oz. jar of roasted red peppers
  • Optional ingredients (listed below)


Red Pepper Spread with Roasted Eggplant and Garlic on Vintage Zest


Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350.

2.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and top with parchment paper.  Spray very well with nonstick spray to prevent sticking.

3.  Toss eggplant cubes with olive oil, and a bit of salt and pepper.  Spread the cubes into a single layer.


Red Pepper Spread with Roasted Eggplant and Garlic on Vintage Zest


4.  Slice the top off the head of garlic to expose the cloves.  Drizzle with olive oil and seal tightly in a bundle of aluminum foil.

5.  Roast the eggplant cubes and garlic for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the eggplant caramelizes.


Red Pepper Spread with Roasted Eggplant and Garlic on Vintage Zest


6.  Unwrap the head of garlic and let everything cool.


Red Pepper Spread with Roasted Eggplant and Garlic on Vintage Zest


7.  Once cool, place the eggplant and garlic into a food processor and pulse.  I leave it a bit chunky because I like it that way, but you can puree it if you wish.

8.  Add the roasted red peppers and continue to process.  Scrape down the sides, if necessary.

9.  Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if necessary.  Optionally, check out the other ingredients I suggest below!


Red Pepper Spread with Roasted Eggplant and Garlic on Vintage Zest


And that's it!

Here are a few options to customize your spread:

  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Crushed red pepper, chipotle peppers, or jalapeño for a bit of kick
  • Fresh herbs: basil, oregano, cilantro, etc.
  • Pesto
  • Use two jars of roasted red peppers for a brighter red pepper taste
  • Process with more olive oil for a looser spread
  • Add goat cheese, feta, Greek yogurt, or tzatziki for a creamier dip
  • Add more veggies like spinach, kale, or avocado, or even black beans!
  • Try out a variety of spices!  Cumin, curry, paprika, chili powder, etc.


Red Pepper Spread with Roasted Eggplant and Garlic on Vintage Zest


And here are a few serving suggestions that I enjoy:
  • Pita or Sangak bread
  • Fresh veggies: bell peppers, cucumber spears or discs, celery, cauliflower, etc.
  • As a sandwich spread (check it out below on the Chicken Parmesan burger)
  • Over fresh pasta
  • Accompanying grilled chicken

Red Pepper Spread with Roasted Eggplant and Garlic on Vintage Zest


Yep, it's pretty much a wonder spread, and I'm definitely looking out for another bargain box of eggplant next time I head to the store.  :)


Red Pepper Spread with Roasted Eggplant and Garlic on Vintage Zest


Delicious, fast, easy, and healthy.  What more could you ask for?


How would customize your spread?




16 comments:

  1. YUMMY !!
    It looks sooooooooooooo GOOD
    And I have no doubt that I'd just love it.

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  2. Ha! I can definitely attest that even non-eggplant lovers love it too! :)

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  3. I love this spread. A little dollop in your soup gives it depth of flavor also.

    Madonna/Ms. Lemon Tart
    MakeMineLemon

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  4. I love this! I never cook with eggplant ( I just don't think about it) and I would love to try the red pepper spread. I have roasted garlic and will have to hide it from my husband or he'll eat it all before I can make the dip! :)

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  5. You're welcome! I'm going to try spicing up my next batch as well for a different spin on it. :)

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  6. If you love eggplant, you will LOVE this then! It's so easy that I'm sure you will be making it all the time. :)

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  7. I love that TJ spread... but your version looks even better.

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  8. Diane, I would love to feature this on my weekly roundup with a link back. LMK if it would be okay.

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  9. What a neat, healthy snack!

    Again, thanks for joining the Link Up this week!

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  10. Your Red Pepper Spread with Roasted Eggplant looks delicious, I just love this combination. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and have a very special week.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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  11. Oh my goodness, this sounds delicious. I would love for you to link up to my Inspire Me party that just started. http://www.astrollthrulife.net/2014/04/211th-inspire-me-tuesday.html Hope to see you there.

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  12. This looks amazing!! I'm going to have to try it! Thanks so much for sharing it with us at the Show-licious Craft & Recipe party! Pinned!

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  13. If it's not too late, sure go ahead!

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  14. Fabulous recipe. Glad I found this via the Google+ StumbleUpon group.

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I love to hear your comments! And putting in your two cents is always free. :)

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