Fire Roasted Eggplant DipOct 30, 2019Posted by guestchefPrint
Autumn is my favorite season—cooler temperatures, longer nights and best of all: harvest! Eggplant is among the best of the bounty. Delicious dips such as baba ghanouj (also called baba ghanoush) and muttabal are mainly roasted eggplant, with most recipes placing the fruit directly on a gas burner and roasting until the skin cracks. What better candidate for the wood fired oven?
I picked up four eggplants to roast in my Bella oven. I also grabbed a large red bell pepper. When the fire was ready, I also threw in two yellow onions and a handful of heritage cherry tomatoes that were beginning to wrinkle in the refrigerator—perfect for the fire (plus an acorn squash to use for another recipe.) Many vegetables would be good to include in this dip; it’s a matter of personal taste and what you have on hand.
I usually roast in larger quantities than I will use in a single recipe, as I want to make the most of each fire and my wood fuel. Roasted eggplant freezes well, especially for the texture desired in this dip. The eggplant, bell pepper, and onion were roasted over coals on my Tuscan grill. The cherry tomatoes and garlic were cooked on my cast iron griddle next to the coals, simply because they were too small for the grill.
Give this Mediterranean recipe a try and enjoy the taste of Autumn!
- 1 Large Eggplant *See important preparation note below
- 1 red bell pepper (or jalepeno or serrano or...you get the idea)
- 1 medium onion Peeled
- 3-4 Cloves garlic Roasted - or 1 Rounded Tbsp Minced Garlic as a substitute
- 4 cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup Lemon juice * or to taste
- 1 Tbsp tahini * or to taste
- Salt and pepper to taste
Tahini is a thick paste made from toasted and ground, hulled sesame seeds that is frequently used in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. It is similar to natural peanut butter in appearance, but it's not inherently sweet. It has the earthy, nutty flavor of sesame seeds, but with a tinge of bitterness. You can find Tahini in most major supermarkets in the ethic foods section, in the condiments aisle near the specialty olives, or in ethnic markets. You can also make it from scratch at home.
If you are going all out, it is also very easy to make Pita bread in a wood fired oven using a basic dough recipe!