Roasted Eggplant Spread

Every late summer and fall, I’m always so impressed/jealous of all my friends who are plucking the fruits (and vegetables) of their summer-long labors and harvesting the stuff from their gardens. So this year, I decided I would also grow a garden. I would be among my domestic and wholesome friends, picking, eating, and preserving tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, and herbs. That was in April.

In late May/June, I was gone for 18 days.

When I got back to Louisiana, I remembered why I don’t go outside to do things like, say, water my plants.

Right now, the herbs are still alive. I have decided that next year, I will be an avid herb gardener (preferably herbs that don’t care if they get watered or not).

The good news is that I know a lot of people who grow gardens (including my friend Jeni who special-ordered “homosexual” zucchini because she didn’t have any bees to pollinate her traditional zucchini blossoms) and they are always more than happy to share their bounties with me. This is how I came home the other day with a bag full of eggplant.

If not done right, the texture of eggplant can get a little…gross. Also, I am a sucker for roasted vegetables. Also, I am a sucker for dips and spreads. Good news for me? It’s pretty much impossible to mess up roasted eggplant (especially when you puree it after you roast it).

You’ll need a medium eggplant, 2 red bell peppers, 1 red onion, a few cloves of garlic, some tomato paste or oven-roasted tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper. Seriously, this spread is really and truly super healthy (which will make you feel less bad about it when you can’t stop eating it).

Preheat your oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Chop the eggplant, onion, and red peppers into 1″ cubes and place them in a large bowl. Smash the garlic and add it to the eggplant mixture. Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss the mixture with your hands until all the vegetables are well-coated. Spread the mixture onto the foil-lined baking sheet.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast the vegetables for 20 minutes. Stir/flip the veggies with a spatula and then roast for another 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and browning.

Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes and then transfer the vegetables to a blender or a food processor. Add the tomato paste (or roasted tomatoes, which is what I used) and pulse until the desired consistency is reached. Serve the dip warm with slices of baguette, sourdough bread, Flatbread, Rosemary Focaccia, Naan, pitas, pita chips, your finger, a spoon, whatever. This would also be an amazing, flavorful vegetarian sauce to toss hot pasta in for a light summer meal straight from your garden (because goodness knows it’s not coming from my garden).


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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. I’ve been reading and loving your website for a year now, so I’m sorry to have to send a negative comment. Kate, I think your “homosexual” zucchinni remark is too flippant and inappropriate for a mormon. With your book and blog’s influence on women everywhere, you need to be more careful. Otherwise, I love reading your fun stories and delicious recipes.

  2. I went right home and made this last night and it’s DELICIOUS! I, of course, ate a little more than I should have last night, but I loved it. I brought some to share with co-workers today, but I don’t know how much I’ll actually let them try 🙂

  3. Thank you! What a great, healthy recipe. Now I have something to do with the abundance of all these eggplants in Japan:)

  4. The proper term is parthenocarpic. And while I understand the homosexual reference, the term actually means virgin. In other words, the fruit is produced without any fertilization. I’m not a botanist so I don’t understand more than that but it is a brilliant solution and produces arguably better fruit. It’s a lifesaver for those of us who live in bee unfriendly concrete jungles!! Love the blog!

  5. The other day I had an eggplant that I did not know what to do with! This would have been so great! 🙂 Now I’ll have to buy another one!

  6. Oh, woops. I didn’t refresh the page {which had been open for a while} before posting my original comment. I understand now. 🙂

  7. I’m with Thomas. I’m a little curious about the homosexual zucchini. I can’t decide what to think about it and I’m more confused the more I try to think of something.
    As for the rest of the post, this recipe looks wonderful! Like so many others, I also have an eggplant in my fridge from a Bountiful Basket and I didn’t have a clue what to do with it. In my whole life, I’ve never had eggplant. I imagine this will be a good way to lead into the flavor a bit. Thanks so much!

  8. “but they’re just zucchini plants that only produce female blossoms and don’t require the male blossoms.”

    Feminist zucchini!

  9. As far as the homosexual plants go, maybe “homosexual zucchini” is a bit of an overstatement, but they’re just zucchini plants that only produce female blossoms and don’t require the male blossoms.

  10. uhm, not homosexual plants but rather self-pollination. Bit of a difference. Great receipe. Made it for my mom. She loved it.

  11. It boggles my mind that you can order ‘homosexual’ zuchinni – as Thomas noted, how come nobody else has commented on this yet??? *LOL*

  12. I can’t believe no one else has said anything. “Homosexual zucchini?” I tried to Google this and nothing. How on earth is this even possible? It’s like Jurassic Park in the vegetable patch. I’m seriously ROTF trying not type all the funny things in my head just in case people don’t get my sense of humor. Lucy, you got some ‘plaining to do!

  13. We have been getting eggplants for the past 3 weeks in our Bountiful baskets and I have had no idea what in the world to do with them but this looks super yummy and fabulous! Plus it’s healthy which is what I am going for right now 🙂 Thank you!

  14. I have been searching for a good dip or spread to use up the eggplants that I get in my Bountiful Basket. This looks so delicious. Thank you!

  15. Right there with ya on the garden thing, except I do it every year. Slow learner, very slow, I’ve lived in LA my whole life and I will probably do it again next year too. I can’t even grow herbs. Oh well that’s what the grocery is for 🙂

  16. This looks AMAZING! Something very similar was my most favorite thing to eat when I was in Bulgaria. 🙂

  17. If you “sweat” the eggplant for about 10-15 minutes prior to cooking it, it won’t have that weird texture.


  18. This sounds delicious. We have another eggplant recipe that is unbreaded which I love. I think it would be delicious also with zucchini and yellow squash – yummmy – now to buy an eggplant at the Farmer’s Market tomorow!

  19. I have an eggplant in my fridge that needs to be used. I was just thinking this morning that I needed to find a way to cook it. Thanks.

  20. i LOVE this! Love the taste of roasted veggies 🙂 and I love hummus like I know this would = heaven!

  21. Thanks so much for this recipe! I really don’t like eggplant but this has so many other flavors in it that I like so when I do come home with an eggplant from my bountiful basket I am so doing this!

  22. So far the only way I’ve really liked eggplant is breaded & baked, but I could eat an entire tray worth of that!! Too bad it doesn’t re-heat very well or else I would have some very healthy lunches. I’ll have to give this one a try!

  23. Could I swap out the eggplant for zucchini? I have tried and tried and just can’t do eggplant, but I love zucchini!

  24. Loving your blog. I made an entire week’s worth of recipes from your blog and they were a huge hit with my family (especially the husband–he thanks you too!). Now onto a new week of recipes that I am fully confident will NOT disappoint! Oh, and by the way, one of them included WW points and that was the BOMB! Thanks 🙂