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Roasted Eggplant Spread

I had an eggplant from the CSA that needed to be used.   I didn’t get enough eggplant to make an eggplant parmagiana, so this recipe was perfect.    We had some friends visiting us from Atlanta this past week and I served this as an hors d’oeuvre before dinner the other night.    We gobbled it up!   There wasn’t one drop left.

I didn’t have tomato paste on hand and didn’t feel like running to the store so I skipped it.    I plan to make this again today and I loved it so much that I’m going to leave the tomato paste out again.   I’m sure it’s tasty with the tomato paste, but I don’t think it’s needed.

Roasted Eggplant Spread
Recipe from Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten

1 medium eggplant
2 red bell peppers, seeded
1 red onion, peeled
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the eggplant,  bell pepper, and onion into 1-inch cubes. Toss them in a large bowl with the garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing once during cooking.

Cool slightly.

Place the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the tomato paste (if using), and pulse 3 or 4 times to blend. Season with salt and pepper.

Yield:  ~ 1 cup