Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Appy Schmappy: Roasted Eggplant Dip + Two Bruschetta Options

I can't believe that Christmas Eve was already so long ago. Oh well. You're getting my update now.

As J and I are newlyweds in our first home, we were fortunate enough to be able to host Christmas Eve with my immediate family. As J's family all lives in Ontario, it's extremely special to us to be able to spend the holidays with at least one of our families (hoping next year to have a house full of both sides! Fingers Crossed). A long time ago, my family decided we'd take Christmas Eve and not share it with anyone - including grandparents. Way back when, we'd play board games and eat fondue. Eventually, my brother and sister both had a kid and we all learned that although a fondue was fun, unique and "special", it was expensive and left us all feeling like we ate a bowl full of oil. Add two little girls into the mix with all of that hot oil...on Christmas Eve. Danger Bay! So ... we've moved forward and have been on to each bringing two appetizers or munchies (now that there are four "family units" rather than it just being the five of us). This plan has stuck. It's lovely. We always make too much food and we always eat too much. But it's Christmas EVE. Who cares?! We eat. We sometimes dance with my nieces (I almost always do) and this year, we got to have my little nephew around (and I got to dress him in my cat's elf cat. Obviously). Special times.

We had (not all things I could have) spinach dip, wonton chicken salsa bites, steamed salmon, Thai chicken wraps, (need recipes, Mom!) meatballs, roasted eggplant dip and two bruschetta toppings!

Both of the appy/snack options I brought were great! Like super duper great!

Roasted Eggplant Dip
I, personally, thought the roasted eggplant dip was completely stellar. My brother-in-law even liked it and he basically dislikes all vegetables. Yay me. The only problem was that I was in a room full of people that didn't like hummus (I know, right?) Only my mom and I in my ENTIRE family have the hummus obsession. So. So. Strange. Moral of the story: This dip looked too "hummus-like" and I roasted a very large eggplant so I had lots of dip left. This is a perfect take-to-a-party recipe.

What To Do:
Confession: I wrote these ingredients down so long ago and have NO idea where it came from. I searched online and in my cookbooks, but there are so many variations of this dip, I couldn't find the one! Either way....
1 large eggplant
3 tbsp tahini
4 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 cup of lemon
2 tbsp olive oil

1. Roast eggplant and garlic (whole and in skin) at 425. Rub both with oil. Take the garlic out after 15 - 20 minutes (my oven runs warm, so I took them out after 15). Keep the eggplant in for another 5 or 10. Check it!
2. Let the eggplant cool for 20 minutes.
3. While the eggplant is cooling, add the garlic (out of the skin, of course), lemon, tahini, salt and oil in a bowl, food processor or Magic Bullet (of course I used the Bullet!).
4. Slice the eggplant, scoop out the middle and puree it with the above ingredients.
5. Drizzle with oil and paprika to garnish.

If you don't have tahini, buy it. It's expensive but lasts a long time in your fridge. It comes in h-a-n-d-y.
I would use much less lemon. Perhaps my eggplant wasn't actually considered "large", but the lemon ratio was a bit strong for my liking.

Bruschetta Toppings 
These are my own creations (woot!). Instead of worrying about the timing of getting baguettes in and out of the oven, I bought baguette crackers (any would do!). These were a big big hit. Especially the mushroom one.

Balsamic Mushroom Bruschetta
Chop up:
1 shallot
1 clove of garlic
About 1/4 cup of parsley
About 1/2 cup of mushrooms, cut very small

Cook everything (but the parsley) with balsamic. Add parsley. Voila!

Tomato Basil Bruschetta (The more typical)
Chop up (no specific quantities):
Red onion
Garlic Clove

Mix with olive oil and a dash of lemon juice.

Obviously everyone loves the typical tomato/basil combo, but the mushroom mixture was an absolute hit! It was gone within 30 minutes (and remember: it was out with all that other great food) and people were raving about it. I personally love to add mushrooms to everything, so it made sense to me...but so happy that it worked out for everyone else.

Also: Bruschetta does NOT need to have cheese added. No one missed it.

So....Feel like commenting yet? Sharing more recipes? Have you tried mine out or plan on trying one of these out? :)

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  1. Mushroom bruschetta! Awesome! I don't think I've ever tried anything like it, but l'd like to! Also? Roasted eggplant? Hell-o! Love anything remotely resembling hummus. Clearly your mom and you got the tastebuds in the fam ;)

    (Just kidding, Rushton fam!)

    Love your Christmas Eve traditions. It's my favourite night of the year and is totally sacred with my family, too!

  2. I love eggplant....I am going to try it for sure

  3. I LOVED the eggplant dip too!! I'll give you the recipe for the Thai chicken wraps - along with my own version of the peanut dipping sauce.

    I also tried, and LOVED, the Fudge Babies!!