Roasted Eggplant Dip with Marinated Summer Vegetables
This Roasted Eggplant Dip is inspired by one of my favorite recipes, baba ganoush, a popular Middle Eastern dip. I made this often on Whole30 since my other favorite dip, hummus, isn't Whole30 compliant. This simple recipe consists of smoky roasted or grilled eggplant mixed with cumin, lemon, garlic and tahini. It's savory but also mildly sweet and goes perfectly with chips, pita or raw, crunchy veggies.
Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and place on 1 large rimmed baking sheet or 2 medium rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle the cut sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until golden brown, softened and the sides start to collapse in, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, marinate the vegetables: Combine the tomatoes, zucchini, chickpeas, 1/4 cup parsley leaves, 3 tablespoons chives, vinegar and the 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss together and set aside until ready to serve.
Once the eggplant is cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh into a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl; discard the eggplant skins. Working in batches, if necessary, press the eggplant with the back of a spoon to release any liquid; reserve the liquid.
Transfer the pressed eggplant flesh to a high-speed blender or food processor. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Blend until a smooth hummus-like sauce forms. Taste for seasoning and add more cumin, salt or pepper, if needed. If the dip is too thick, blend in 1 to 2 tablespoons of the reserved eggplant liquid.
To serve warm, immediately scoop the dip into a large shallow bowl and top with the marinated vegetables. Or to serve chilled, refrigerate the dip and marinated vegetables in separate containers for at least 1 hour (up to 1 week) to let the flavors absorb. Then scoop the dip into a large shallow bowl and top with the marinated vegetables.
Sprinkle with more parsley leaves and chives and serve with the pita and/or cucumbers.