Easy Eggplant Dip
Updated: a day ago
There is something I love so much about going to an Eastern Mediterranean restaurant that serves up all sorts of exotic flavors in the form of breads, skewers, wraps, and more. The culture of sharing small bites around the table is very comforting, and eating like this reminds me of happier times.
However, during this era of staying at home, we sometimes miss the excitement of trying new foods, and if you have two little monkeys running about like I do, spending a long time trying out a new recipe just ain't gonna happen (PS, has anyone experienced their child bursting into the room naked while you are on a video call yelling, "Weiner! Weiner? If so, what did you do? #askingforafriend). Some of the steps in this recipe take a bit of time, but that's OK. It means that during cooking you are available to tend to any small catastrophes as they erupt.
Thank goodness I found a way to recipe hack this dish so that I could feel a little bit fancy by eating exotic food in my underwear. Wait, did I type that or just think it? Never mind, who cares about pants now anyway?
So, sit back, relax, and enjoy this easy and delicious dip that resembles baba ganoush, but is not. Your family will probably not even notice because they don't even notice that you are not dressed.
1 tbs olive oil
1 large onion
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbs olive oil
4 long eggplants or 3 regular eggplants
1/2 C water
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1. Slice the eggplant horizontally into 2 inch slices and place in a colander. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and set aside to sweat while you work on caramelizing the onions.
2. Peel and slice the onion into either thin rings or thin, vertical slices. Totally up to you.
3. Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and let it heat up. Add in onions and sauté for about 4 minutes until fragrant and soft. Reduce heat and cook over medium for 5-6 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. After about 10 minutes, add salt and sugar. Cook for another 20-30 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan every few minutes. Onions will begin to turn that beautiful caramel color and smell oh so good. The onions can be a bit crispy, but be careful they don't burn.
4. After eggplant has sweat for about 20 minutes, you can heat a wok or large pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and heat it up, then add prepared eggplant. Cook for about 7 minutes while stirring occasionally, reducing heat as necessary. The goal is to get the eggplant slightly charred on the outside but not burned.
5. Next, pour 3/4 cup water into the pan and cover. Simmer the eggplant this way for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Eggplant will become soft.
6. Add salt and mash eggplant with a wooden spoon, cooking longer as necessary and adding a bit more water if needed. The result will be mushy eggplant and you will see the skin start to separate from the eggplant flesh. At this point you can remove the eggplant from the heat and start to remove the skin with tongs or chopsticks. I have tried this recipe leaving about half the skins inside the dip and also all. Both ways were yummy.
7. Add minced garlic to wok or pan and mix in well. The heat will cook the garlic a bit, but not so much that the garlic loses it's bite, which is what we want in this recipe.
8. Transfer eggplant mixture to serving dish, and add caramelized onions on top. If desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds and a bit more olive oil. Serve with crackers, or my favorite, Scallion Flatbread.