Roasted Eggplant and Summer Veggies
Well, Miss Thing went back to school this week. I know… I know… It’s only the second day and I’m already thinking “is it summer time yet?”. But back to school means that I’ve got to stop being lazy and sleeping in every morning, staying up late every night… mores the pity. I suppose it’s a good thing though. Mr. Man has recently had a whole spate of early morning meetings, so we should all probably be going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. Will we do it? Who knows.
With Miss Thing going back to school now though, my available free time is taking a dive – so I’ve been doing a little more cooking-ahead, atleast – when I’ve been able to cook. Miss Thing had a big all-day affair on Sunday, and then I wasn’t feeling well yesterday after my doctor’s appointment, so we ordered pizza… and it’s been a pretty slow week for me in the kitchen. Fortunately, I used up a fair chunk of this week’s FFTY box making this dip. Well – actually, I’m calling it a dip – but honestly, it’s much more versatile than that. For dinner on Sunday, we tossed some with pasta and sliced sausage for a nice spicy pasta dish, it’s also great as a spread on sandwiches, served with chips or pita bread – I’ll bet it would even be good on Pizza. It was a big hit at last week’s DVP Meet & Greet, and it’s super easy to boot.
I’ve decided that during pepper season, I will probably be making this (or a similar style dish) fairly frequently – it’s a great, easy, flavorful way to use them up – and it’s versatile enough that I (probably) won’t get sick of them. Although I do have to find a decent source for the spicy peppers – unfortunately FFTY doesn’t grow them. I have recently become aware of two other services that I may use to supplement my local-tendencies (and my lazy ones, since they also deliver… yay!) A service called Spud and Planet Organics. Both have their pluses and minuses, and I haven’t placed an order with either yet… But I’m definitely getting close. It’d be a supplementary to my FFTY box though – not a replacement.
At any rate – there really isn’t an easy way to mess this recipe up. The proportions listed are approximate, and you can feel free to mix them up based on what you have available and how spicy or tangy you like it. This makes a fairly largish amount – but it’s versatile enough that I can’t imagine it going to waste. I ended up with 1 quart and 1 pint (each) mason jars full, and it’s already almost gone.
- 2 lbs Eggplant; cut in to 2″ chunks
- 1 lb Crookneck Squash; cut in to 2″ chunks
- 1 lb Tomatoes; cut in to 2″ chunks
- 1.5 lb Sweet Peppers; cut in to 2″ chunks
- 3 Jalapeno Peppers; whole
- 2 Serrano Peppers; whole
- 1 large onion; cut in to chunks
- 6 cloves Garlic; minced
- 1/4 cup Fresh Basil
- 2 tbs Red Wine Vinegar (to taste)
- 2 tbs Lemon Juice (to taste)
- Olive Oil
- Kosher Salt
- Liberally salt the eggplant chunks and allow to drain for several hours (or overnight) before roasting
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Rinse Eggplant to remove some of the excess salt
- Place all chopped veggies (except basil) in to a large roasting pan
- Drizzle liberally with Olive Oil, and sprinkle liberally with Kosher Salt, stir to combine
- Place the whole Jalapeno and Serrano Peppers on top of chopped veggies, turning to coat with the residual olive oil and salt
- Roast in oven for 1 hour, or until veggies are tender and beginning to brown
- Allow veggies to cool to room temperature (for ease of handling – and so it doesn’t cook the basil)
- Take the Jalapeno and Serrano Peppers and set aside
- Puree remaining veggies along with the basil (working in batches if neccessary) in food processor
- Pour all but about 1/2 cup of the puree in to a bowl and set aside
- Remove the stems of the reserved peppers and add to food processor with reserved puree. Process until smooth.
- Add Kosher Salt, Lemon Juice, Red Wine Vinegar and Jalapeno/Serrano Puree to the remaining dip, a little at a time, to taste.