Roasted Eggplant and Feta Dip

Active Time: 40 min.

To Make Ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days

Makes 12 servings, about ¼ c. each.

If the dip is bitter, you can remedy that with a little sweetener.  Serve with Toasted Pita Chips or as a sandwich spread.

1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound)

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

¼ c. extra-virgin olive oil

½ c. crumbled feta cheese, preferably Greek

½ c. finely chopped red onion

1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 small chile pepper, such as jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil

1 Tbsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste

¼ tsp. salt

Pinch of sugar (optional)

Position oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source; preheat broiler.  Line a baking pan with foil.  Place eggplant in the pan and poke a few holes all over it to vent steam.  Broil the eggplant, turning with tongs every 5 min., until the skin is charred and a knife inserted into the dense flesh near the stem goes in easily, 14 to 18 min.  Transfer to a cutting board until cool enough to handle.  Put lemon juice in a medium bowl.  Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and scrape the flesh into the bowl, tossing with the lemon juice to help prevent discoloring.  Add oil and stir with a fork until the oil is absorbed.  (It should be a little chunky.)  Stir in feta, onion, bell pepper, chile pepper (if using), basil, parsley, cayenne and salt.  Taste and add sugar if necessary.

Taken from Eating Well magazine October 2008.

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