I grow A LOT of eggplant (which I usually call aubergine just because I like saying it), and I’m always experimenting with new ways to serve it. I was inspired to make this Roasted Eggplant Dip with Yogurt, Walnuts and Mint after tasting something similar at a Persian dinner back in the 90s; this is my personal recipe developed through trial and error over the years.
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Recipe byReese Amorosi
Roasted Eggplant Dip with Yogurt, Walnuts and Mint
This Roasted Eggplant Dip is truly versatile: it can accompany pita bread and vegetables, it can dress a side dish with rice, quinoa or roasted potatoes, or it can be spread on sandwiches. During the winter months I use Japanese eggplant from the market; in the summer I use homegrown heirlooms, usually Long Purple or Louisiana Green, but globe type eggplant works, too. Walnuts give this dip texture; mint gives it zip and yogurt makes it creamy. You can use regular or low-fat yogurt; using Greek yogurt will make the dip more tangy.
Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, then make a series of slices in the flesh without cutting all the way through to the skin. Scoring it in a diamond pattern works well.
Brush the eggplant with olive oil, then place flesh-side down on baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes - you'll notice the skin will start to pucker when it's ready. When done, remove from oven and set aside to cool.
While the eggplant is roasting, fry the onions in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil until they start to look transparent. Add turmeric and stir until it is evenly distributed and the onions are uniformly yellow. Leave the onions in the skillet, but turn off the heat until the eggplant is ready.
Use a large spoon to scoop the eggplant out of its skin and add to the onions. Use a potato masher or wooden spoon to smoosh any large chunks of eggplant.
Add garlic to the skillet with the eggplant and onions. Cook mixture over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, then turn down to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
Turn off heat, add yogurt, mint, lemon juice and ½ cup chopped walnuts. Season with Kosher salt and a few turns of your pepper mill (sea salt or common table salt and pepper is fine, too).
Transfer to serving bowl, sprinkle remaining ¼ cup of walnuts over top. Serve warm, or chill if you prefer.