Monday, January 30, 2012

Roasted Eggplant and Feta Spread

Life can be crazy, right? We rush through our day, from one task to the next, and often times fail to pause and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. We eat in our cars, at our desks, or skip meals all together. We live in a world that has not found the balance between work and life. We dedicate ourselves to our jobs and families and if there is time – we may squeeze in exercise. But what about community outreach, social activism, volunteerism? Where do these areas fit into our life?

Like many of you, I have spent my days in this this crazy, chaotic, not-so-perfect culture that is called life. Through my yoga practice I have found the ability to “be present” and to “just be.” I have realized the importance of channeling my positive energy into everyday life and dedicating time to a cause that I feel passionately about. I highly encourage you to do the same.

I joined the Slow Food Urban San Diego Food Justice Committee and focus my attention on educating teenage mothers in the areas of cooking, nutrition, and gardening. Each month we meet for a few hours to discuss the projects we are planning and of course we each bring a dish to pass. I had this gorgeous eggplant sitting on my counter and immediately decided I would whip up something that used this beauty. I began perusing my favorite online sites for inspiration and landed on EatingWell. I went back and forth debating between Baba Ghanoush and Roasted Eggplant and Feta Dip – feta won! I paired the dip with some Ezekiel pita bread and it was a hit! Everyone raved about this savory spread.

Eggplant is known for its beautiful deep-purple hue, glossy skin, and unique flavor and texture. In addition to its good looks, eggplant also boasts many wonderful nutritional benefits. High in dietary fiber and bone-building vitamin K and manganese, eggplant is also a good source of heart-healthy copper, vitamin c, B6, folate, and niacin.


1 medium eggplant, (about 1 pound)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup organic crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 small chile pepper, such as jalapeƱo, seeded and minced (I used a poblano pepper)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of agave (or sweetener of your choice)


Preheat the broiler. Place the eggplant on a pan lined with aluminum foil and poke small holes all over it for steam to vent. Broil the eggplant for 15-20 minutes, turning it every five minutes with a tongs. Remove from the oven and transfer the eggplant to a cutting board to cool.

Squeeze the lemon juice into a medium bowl. Cut the eggplant in half, length-wise, and scoop the flesh out into the bowl, leaving behind the skin. Mix with the lemon juice to prevent discoloring. Add the EVOO and stir until well mixed. Should be slightly chunky but feel free to mix up in a food processor if you’d like a creamier texture. Add all other ingredients, stir, and serve with your choice of pita chips, bread, crackers, etc. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment