Geoff Melkonian, founder of Breadwinner, is ready for the holidays.
“We are happy to share our Roasted Eggplant Dip with the community,” he said. “My chef, Niyazi Mesta, and I are both of Turkish (and in my case also Armenian) descent. We take our Mediterranean and Middle Eastern foods very seriously. Whenever we can, we incorporate a recipe from this part of the world into our menu. It really is so delicious on its own or used as a dip or spread. I prefer to enjoy it spread on a piece of fresh-baked pita bread from our friends at Eli Pita. Or you can enjoy it on a cracker, bagel chip or pita chip. I’ve even used it as a sandwich spread or on a falafel. We recommend roasting fresh eggplants.
“However, you could use 3 lbs. of canned eggplant pulp. You can find it in the international aisle of your grocery store or from specialty markets such as the Buford Highway Farmers Market. One final step at the end once you’ve plated/bowled the eggplant dip is zesting the skin of a fresh lemon on top prior to serving your crowd. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.”
10 whole eggplants (or canned pulp)
10 Roma tomatoes
1 bunch of chopped parsley
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon of dried thyme
1 tablespoon of paprika
1 tablespoon of dried parsley
1 tablespoon of minced fresh garlic
½ cup of lemon juice
½ cup of olive oil
salt and pepper
1 whole lemon for zesting
Ideally, grill the eggplant over an open flame, either on a grill or on stovetop burners. So much of the flavor comes from the smoke from the char you get from the open flame. Make sure you fork-spear the eggplants prior to grilling them. Grill eggplants until they are well-charred and deflated. Let them cool and slit them open to scrape out the pulp.
Cut tomatoes in half lengthwise. Toss in olive oil. Place on a cookie sheet flat side-down with the skin up and sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper. Roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Peel and discard the skins. Rough chop tomatoes.
In a large mixing bowl, add eggplant pulp, chopped tomatoes and all other ingredients. Whisk to your desired texture. Serve cold or warm.