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Roasted Eggplant Spread

My love of eggplant began when I was a young child.  My mother would peel and slice the eggplant, sprinkle with salt, and let rest on paper towels for 30-45 minutes to remove the bitterness.  She would then flour, salt and pepper the eggplant, and brown the eggplant slices in hot oil.  The hot eggplant slices were then put on a slice of bread and eaten as a sandwich.  I STILL love eggplant this way but have searched for healthier ways to cook eggplant.

This spread is a new favorite.  Rumor has it that the original recipe came from the Barefoot Contessa.

It is difficult for me to resist eating the cubed eggplant straight from the roasting pan but the majority usually makes it to the food processor.  I often eat this as a side dish as well as a spread. Either way…you can’t beat the wonderful flavor of eggplant.  YUM!

ROASTED EGGPLANT SPREAD

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

Ingredients for Roasted Eggplant Spread

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1 inch cubes. Toss them in a large bowl with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Vegetables ready to roast

3.  Spread on greased baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing one time during the roasting process. Cool slightly.

Roasted Vegetables

4. Place the vegetables in a food processor. Add the tomato paste and pulse to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted Eggplant Spread

5. Optional: serve with crumbled feta cheese on crackers, bread or pita chips.

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