Thursday, April 3, 2008

Eggplant Dip, Pita Crisps, Herb Pita Crisps

This is a very light and healthy recipe from Self. It makes a great dip, but I have made some changes to it.

Instead of roasting the eggplant in the oven, I roast it on the gas range by putting the eggplant directly on fire. When the skin is charred I turn it until all sides of it is charred. It gives a smoky flavor to the dip which is wonderful. But it can get pretty messy, so either use aluminum foil to cover your range or use a pizza sheet type of a pan which has holes, so that the fire can reach the eggplant. And not only it tastes better, it only takes a much shorter time to prepare the eggplant.

I also add 1 extra garlic. If I have the time, I roast the garlic in the oven before adding it to the dip. But keep in my that roasting the garlic brings the potency to a lower degree:)

I like serving with pita crisps, but if you want to stay healthy, go ahead and use any vegetable you like. So I'm adding two more recipes; one for regular pita crisps and one for herb pita crisps. Enjoy:)


EGGPLANT DIP

Ingredients:
1 1/2 large eggplants, halved
Olive oil cooking spray
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 spring onion, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon plain lowfat yogurt
Coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon sliced basil

Directions:
Heat oven to 350°F. Coat eggplants with cooking spray. Roast 1 hour.

Scoop pulp into a sieve lined with cheesecloth; drain 1 hour.

Remove pulp; purée in food processor; transfer to a bowl.

Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Cook onion 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic; cook 3 minutes or until soft.

Add tomatoes and paprika; cook 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool.

Stir yogurt into puree; add onion and tomatoes.

Season with salt and pepper.

Chill 30 minutes. Garnish with basil. Serve with raw vegetables and pita chips

Makes 4 servings.

PITA CRISPS

Ingredients:
8 pita rounds, (each 5 inches in diameter)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of salt
Pinch of freshly ground pepper

Directions:
Split each pita horizontally. Cut each round into 4 wedges.

Toss wedges with oil, garlic, cayenne, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.

Arrange pita wedges in a single layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake until crisp and golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

Crisps can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.

HERB PITA CRISPS

Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 pitas (each 3 1/2 inches), split
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Butter pitas and sprinkle with chives, salt, and pepper. Cut each into quarters.

Divide between two baking sheets. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

Store in an airtight container up to 1 day.

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