Chilly Dilly Eggplant

This is a versatile recipe, delicious as a dip with raw vegetables or on pita triangles. It also makes a great a sandwich spread  or a wonderful addition to a mezes or tapas-style meal. Although it is tasty warm, the flavor dramatically improves if it is thoroughly chilled before serving.

Chilly Dilly Eggplant
  1. 2 eggplants, peeled, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes and drained of excess moisture
  2. 2 to 3 tbsp olive oil 25 to 45 mL
  3. 2 medium onions, chopped
  4. 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  5. 1 tsp dried oregano 5 mL
  6. 1 tsp salt 5 mL
  7. 1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 2 mL
  8. 1 tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar 15 mL
  9. 1⁄2 cup chopped fresh dill 125 mL
  10. Dill sprigs, optional
  11. Finely chopped black olives, optional
  1. 1. In a skillet, heat 2 tbsp (25 mL) oil over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, in batches, and cook, stirring and tossing, until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes per batch, adding more oil, if necessary. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.
  2. 2. In same pan, using more oil, if necessary, cook onions over medium heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to slow cooker and stir to combine thoroughly. Cover and cook on Low for 7 to 8 hours or on High for 4 hours, until vegetables are tender.
  3. 3. Transfer contents of slow cooker (in batches, if necessary) to a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add vinegar and dill and process until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl at halfway point. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Spoon into a small serving bowl and chill thoroughly. Garnish with sprigs of dill and chopped black olives, if using.
  1. To sweat eggplant: Place cubed eggplant in a colander, sprinkle liberally with salt, toss well and set aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour. If time is short, blanch the pieces for a minute or two in heavily salted water. In either case, rinse thoroughly in fresh cold water and, using your hands, squeeze out the excess moisture. Pat dry with paper towels and it’s ready to cook.
  2. If you are halving this recipe, be sure to use a small (11⁄2 to 2 quart) slow cooker.
  3. Make Ahead
  4. You’ll achieve maximum results if you make this a day ahead and chill thoroughly before serving, or cook overnight, purée in the morning and chill.
Judith Finlayson
Posted in Appetizers, Gluten-Free, Recipes, Vegetarian & Vegan.


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