Meatless Monday: Eggplant and Goat Cheese Dip

by Kelly on August 2, 2010

boston2

How much should you miss a city you lived in for 8+ years?  It’s something I’ve been thinking about lately as today is my five month anniversary of leaving Boston and  living in Chicago.   Hard to believe it’s been that long since I announced on my birthday I was moving.

boston1

And left behind the city where I went to college.  Where I watched the Red Sox win two World Series and the Patriots three Super Bowls

Boston3

And bought my first condo with a bathroom so pink it glowed in the hallway. (Sadly this is only one of a handful of photos I have of my old digs.)  Where I started the blog and truly honed my love of cooking.  I have no answer to that question, but weirdly I don’t think about Boston much.

Chicago

I’m not sure if it’s because despite an initial wave of emotions, Chicago seems to fit me effortlessly, as if it was somehow tailored just for me. Or if I am really in some state of denial and it will hit me eventually.  Or if this is a sign I was I was ready for the change I thrust upon myself.

Fairy Tale EggplantWhatever the real reason I have been thinking about food I had in Boston that is now not particularly accessible.  One such dish is the Eggplant-Goat Cheese Purée from Sel de La Terre.  I love that it had a subtle flavor of eggplant and a creaminess and tang from the goat cheese.  My Eggplant and Goat Cheese Dip is my recreation of their delicious purée and the perfect appetizer for a Meatless Monday.  It has layers of flavor which conceals how simple it actually is.  I roast small eggplants until soft.  Then I puree them in the food processor with extra virgin olive oil, chevre, Parmesan cheese, onion powder, lemon juice and a little salt and pepper.  It’s rich and clean at the same time which I love.

It’s also incredibly versatile.  Should you have any leftovers, it’s equally lovely spread on a bagel with a few paper thin slices of cucumber or tomato.  It’s truly a fun substitute for cream cheese. Just keep in mind that this has the absolute best texture at room temperature, so if it’s been in the refrigerator you’ll want to let it warm up a bit before using.

eggplant and goat cheese dip

Eggplant and Goat Cheese Dip

Serves 4-6 as an appetizer
Ingredients:
-Cooking spray
-1/2 pound small eggplant such as Fairy Tale or Sicilian (also known as Graffiti or Zebra eggplant)
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1 1/2 ounces chevre (I like Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery and Chavrie)
-2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
-1/2 teaspoon onion powder
-1 teaspoon lemon juice
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Pita chips or vegetables for dipping

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with tinfoil and spray with cooking spray. Prick eggplant all over with a fork and place on the baking sheet. Bake until tender, then let cool briefly.

Cut off the stems of each eggplant and place whole in a food processor. Puree until relatively smooth. Add remaining ingredients to the food processor and process until well combined and smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature with your choice of dippers.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica @ How Sweet August 2, 2010 at 8:17 am

I love that bathroom. I actually want a bathroom just like that. I think it is super cute!

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Kelly August 2, 2010 at 6:51 pm

Jessica – I’d be impressed if your husband let you have a bathroom that pink. I do miss it though. It was so feminine and lovely.

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Cara August 2, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Yum! I just bought some fairy tale eggplant at a farmers’ market this weekend and can’t wait to use them (and I confess that I have this plant in my backyard, but it’s not giving me anything yet – booo!)

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Kelly August 2, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Cara – Good luck with the plants. I am incredibly jealous, I am not going to lie. After doing some reading it seems like some of the smaller varieties of eggplant may do okay in a container so I may try that next year in addition to tomatoes.

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Mo@MommyRD August 2, 2010 at 10:32 pm

Looking at your great shots of the lake, I wouldn’t miss one thing about living there either.
This dip seems to be tailor made just for me. Love <3.

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Kelly August 3, 2010 at 11:05 am

Mo – You’re too sweet. I do adore the lake here. It makes me smile.

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Shannon August 3, 2010 at 4:53 pm

this definitely sounds amazing! love those shots of boston! and glad you are liking your new digs, too 🙂

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kelly August 3, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Thank you. 🙂 It’s making me wish I took more pictures while I lived there, but then again, you never realize you’re going to leave somewhere so you put it off until tomorrow.

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Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) August 3, 2010 at 6:33 pm

I love the pictures. I have never been to Boston. I need to go!

That dip sounds fabulous. I love eggplant dips.

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Carolyn Jung August 3, 2010 at 8:17 pm

It’s like revved up baba ghanoush. The goat cheese is an inspired addition.

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Nurit - 1 family. friendly. food. August 4, 2010 at 12:39 am

In our previous house, we painted the main floor bathroom in a very lively orange color. It was so bright you could see the light from under the door. Walking inside, it felt like a night club, or something… Oh, we were younger and crazier back then. These days, I’m starting to like grey and beige more and more…. Hmm.

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bz August 18, 2010 at 9:28 pm

the dip sounds great .. can I freeze it .. I have a bumper crop of fairy eggplant and would love to make this now and serve it in a few weeks when I have a house full

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Kelly August 21, 2010 at 12:30 am

bz – I am so jealous! I wish I had that kind of bumper crop going on! You are incredibly lucky. I’ll follow up with an e-mail, but I am not 100% sure about freezing this dip because of the goat cheese. In my experience freezing dishes with cheese can be a mixed bag – I find that ravioli with cheese filling freeze well, but not everything else does. If you have a big crop to deal with you may be willing to experiment, but something with a bean/legume base may be safer.

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