Roasted Eggplant and Sweet Pepper Dip

Back when I played tennis, which was one broken ankle and more than a few years ago, my team may not have always have won the match but, by god, we always had a great table of food.  Not being one of the best players on my team, I liked to think that I somehow made up for having lead feet by bringing a homemade offering of something tasty .  Making “dip” was my favorite contribution – it doesn’t sound like much, but hey, they kept me on the team!  I wish I had known about this dip back then, although it might have been too distracting to the people on the court for all the oohing and awing that would have ensued.

This recipe is a hybrid of Ina Garten’s Roasted Eggplant Spread and a basic recipe for baba ghanoush.   I couldn’t decide which recipe to go with, so I came up with a blend of the two.  Call it indecision or call it inspiration – as long as you call me when it’s ready!  (Har…)  I roasted the vegetables in the oven, but this would be even better with grilled vegetables!  We ate this as a mid-afternoon snack with some gluten-free almond crackers; you can be sure it would disappear equally fast with pita triangles, vegetable sticks, bread of any sort, or even as a topping for pasta or zucchini noodles.

Be sure to pour some high quality extra-virgin olive oil over the top – the sweet fruitiness of the olive oil contrasted with the more earthy and spicy eggplant and peppers is phenomenal!  I highly recommend Kotinos Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Kasandrinos Imports.  (Join their facebook page and look for special deals.)

Seriously, you may want to double this recipe – or if you are taking it to a tennis match, triple it and keep some at home for yourself!


  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded
  • 4 garlic cloves, whole, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (to start with…)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt; freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tahini paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • juice of one lemon
  • lots more good extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400F.

Cut the eggplant up into 1-inch square pieces.  (Before cutting, I like to take off some of the skin in stripes around the eggplant.  Up to you.)   Cut the red bell peppers into 1 inch strips.  Toss the eggplant, peppers, and garlic in a large bowl with olive oil, salt, and several grindings of pepper.

Spread the vegetables on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer.  Roast for 35-45 minutes, tossing once during cooking, until the vegetables are soft and lightly browned.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

Place the vegetables in a food processor; add the tahini, cumin, cayenne, lemon juice, and another glug (or two) of olive oil.  Process in pulses until blended.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  (Try to avoid over-processing or it will become paste-like in texture.)

Drizzle with more olive oil on top, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Today we hail the “corndog from Pedro”, Mr. Mike Watt! Originally a Minuteman with D. Boon, Mike has been one of the busiest players in the punk rock scene for many years. I interviewed him in 2001, and found him to be as nice a guy as you can find in the business. Since then he’s played bass for the reformed Iggy and the Stooges, among others. The band he formed after the D. Boon’s tragic death called fIREHOSE has been the subject of a reissue, lowFLOWs: The Columbia Anthology (’91 – ’93) (2 CD), and it gives you a glimpse of his energetic trio in all their glory.

Second up is a interesting piece of work, Spielgusher. Watt on bass, and rock journalist Richard Meltzer on “spiels”…its a rambling, woozy affair with an eclectic backing, from punk rock to surf music and all in between.


21 thoughts on “Roasted Eggplant and Sweet Pepper Dip

  1. I tweaked it a little bit and used it as a sauce for a veggie and grain one-pot meal. (Tweaks: subbed part of the oil with water, added a dash of coriander, paprika and nutritional yeast, left some of the veggies not blended). Thanks!

  2. Hey guys, just wanted to let you know I stumbled upon this recipe the other day and decided to feature it as our meal of the day on the Foodee Project! Thanks for dishing up the inspiration!

  3. Found this on the Foodee Project, thank you!

    What do you guys think of freezing the eggplant? I got hella eggplant and red/orange peppers at the csa this morning. I’d really like to make lots of this spread over time, but how to preserve the veggies … I’m wondering if they’d freeze better before roasting or after roasting as a puree. I’m leaning toward freezing it as a puree because I can’t imagine it roasting very well after having been thawed. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Amanda, I have absolutely no experience freezing eggplants or peppers. I tend to agree with you about freezing them after roasting because I bet they would be too mushy to roast after freezing. Maybe it would be better to freeze the roasted vegetables before pureeing them though – I’m not sure.

      I’ll try something new and post the question on our facebook page to see if anyone has done this. (The link to the facebook page is at the top right of this page.)

  4. I just found your website, a few years later than everyone else I’m afraid, but just had to comment on the roasted eggplant and pepper dip. I didn’t think I’d be a lover of eggplant but this recipe floored me. You have sold me for life, can’t wait to try more. My gorgeous mother in law is on her way over to pig out with me..thank you so much!!!

Comments are closed.