I saw Nigella Lawson make this Middle Eastern roasted eggplant dip on one of her cooking shows years ago, and since then I’ve made it many times for get togethers at our place, or as a dish to bring to a party. This doesn’t have an overpowering eggplant flavor, so even if it’s not your favorite vegetable, there’s a good chance you’ll like this dip. Ryan usually hates eggplant, but loves this.
It’s also very easy to make, and you don’t need to use a food processor or blender for this. It does take a bit of time since you have to roast the eggplants and wait for them to cool, so just make sure to plan ahead.
The original recipe would be totally vegan were it not for the addition of Greek yogurt. The first time I made this I was a bit stumped on what to use instead. Regular soy yogurt would be too thin, so that probably wouldn’t work. I decided to try vegan sour cream in place of the Greek yogurt and it works perfectly.
The recipe also calls for saffron threads – that’s them in the photo above, blooming in some warm water. Saffron can be expensive. I found a tiny box of them that didn’t break the bank, and I got them just for making this dip. I have made it without the saffron and it turned out fine, so don’t sweat it if you don’t have any.
I think that the mint and pine nut garnishes are what make this so amazing. Just remember that pine nuts can burn quickly, so be sure to keep an eye on them when you toast them. I usually do this in a small, dry skillet while I saute the onions and garlic.
I always love to find a recipe from a chef who is nowhere near being vegan, but has recipes that you can easily veganize and that are still really impressive and delicious. This dip is both, especially when served with pita chips. I hope you enjoy this as much as I have!