LUSCIOUS EGGPLANT DIP WITH TOASTED WALNUTS, TAHINI, LEMON & YOGURT

LUSCIOUS EGGPLANT DIP W/ TOASTED WALNUTS, TAHINI, LEMON & YOGURT - The First Messpin it!LUSCIOUS EGGPLANT DIP W/ TOASTED WALNUTS, TAHINI, LEMON & YOGURT - The First Messpin it!LUSCIOUS EGGPLANT DIP W/ TOASTED WALNUTS, TAHINI, LEMON & YOGURT - The First Messpin it!LUSCIOUS EGGPLANT DIP W/ TOASTED WALNUTS, TAHINI, LEMON & YOGURT - The First Messpin it!LUSCIOUS EGGPLANT DIP W/ TOASTED WALNUTS, TAHINI, LEMON & YOGURT - The First Messpin it!
Maybe you’re like me and you have a dedicated eggplant and tomato zone carved out in your kitchen right now. It’s summer’s last stand, so I don’t mind eating these things every day, but variation is important. Our eggplant crops are bountiful this year, and because of that you all get
yet another recipe for this wonderful nightshade. I know that eggplant isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but! Pretty much everyone loves a dip and this one right here is something special.

The recipe here started during my Winter trip to Portland (heading there again in October and I can’t wait). My friend and I had this amazing, slightly tangy and nutty eggplant dip with steaming hot, fresh-from-the-oven pita. We tried to get boomerang videos of the steam escaping the freshly ripped pita a couple times. This didn’t work out for us (lol), but our enjoyment of the dip was still successful. It had a tanginess, detectable toasty cumin and walnuts, and some other key players like garlic and lemon. It seemed like the natural starting point of the dish was a traditional baba ganoush, with all of those typical flavour notes intact, plus some interesting extras.

Just from a rough flavour memory, this luscious eggplant dip was really easy to fix up in my own kitchen. We served the first trial run to friends with a casual Labour Day weekend spread of grilled pizza, kale salad, and a suspiciously hot batch of blistered shishito peppers. Proving my point that everyone loves a dip, we snacked on this one well into the night. It has a lush texture that feels almost whipped in a way. Fatty, creamy, toasty, tangy, and bright all at the same time.

So yeah! Make a nice platter with a swoop of olive oil on top of the plated dip, tuck a smear of it into a sandwich, use it as the base of a grain bowl, or just dip vegetables and crackers into it throughout the week. One of my favourite tips for people that are new to the plant-based way of life is to always have some sort of delicious dip or spread around. You can combine that with a whole bunch of things to make a meal in a pinch. Even if you’re kinda “meh” on vegetables, dip can form a crucial supporting role to your upped consumption. My Roasted Carrot & Harissa Chickpea Dip and Velvety Roasted Garlic and Butternut Sesame Dip are also excellent choices

That’s it for this week! I’m heading to Montreal with Mark and our friends this weekend. It’s supposed to be unseasonably hot there and at home, so I’m looking forward to EVEN MORE eggplant on my counter when we get back :)

LUSCIOUS EGGPLANT DIP W/ TOASTED WALNUTS, TAHINI, LEMON & YOGURT - The First Messpin it!LUSCIOUS EGGPLANT DIP W/ TOASTED WALNUTS, TAHINI, LEMON & YOGURT - The First Messpin it!LUSCIOUS EGGPLANT DIP W/ TOASTED WALNUTS, TAHINI, LEMON & YOGURT - The First Messpin it!LUSCIOUS EGGPLANT DIP W/ TOASTED WALNUTS, TAHINI, LEMON & YOGURT - The First Messpin it!LUSCIOUS EGGPLANT DIP W/ TOASTED WALNUTS, TAHINI, LEMON & YOGURT - The First Messpin it!
LUSCIOUS EGGPLANT DIP WITH TOASTED WALNUTS, TAHINI, LEMON & YOGURT
Print the recipe here!
SERVES: Makes 1 ½ cups of dip
NOTES: I use Anita’s coconut milk-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened). It’s my plant-based yogurt of choice, but feel free to use whichever brand you like.
-For my omnivores that may be making this with dairy-based yogurt: start with only 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and see how you like it. Dairy yogurt tends to be tangier, and you can always add more lemon later.
-This dip is naturally oil-free if you omit the little swoop of olive oil as a garnish.
-This dip is best at room temperature. It keeps in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
-To make this nut-free, I would replace the walnuts with the same amount of toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds.

DIP INGREDIENTS
1 medium-large eggplant
¼ cup walnut halves, toasted
¼ cup tahini
⅓ cup thick yogurt of choice (I used Anita’s coconut yogurt)
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (see headnote)
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
½ teaspoon ground Aleppo chili
sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste

TO GARNISH
lemon zest
extra Aleppo chili
extra chopped walnuts
finely chopped parsley
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and place both halves face down on the baking sheet. Bake eggplant until quite soft and wrinkly on the exterior, about 45 minutes. Remove eggplant and let cool slightly.

In a food processor, pulse the walnuts until they are finely ground. To the food processor, add the tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, garlic, chili, salt, and pepper. Scoop the soft flesh out of the cooled eggplant and transfer it to the food processor as well.

Run the food processor motor until you have a smooth and luscious dip, scraping the sides down if necessary. Adjust the dip for seasoning if necessary.

Serve the luscious eggplant dip at room temperature with cut vegetables, pita chips, crackers, olives etc!

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  • Sasha12/09/2018 - 8:50 pm

    Oh this dip looks heavenly! Need to make!ReplyCancel

  • Dina13/09/2018 - 4:25 am

    I love and appreciate your blog and recipes so I hope you take this critical comment as one that comes from a good place. This recipe is unmistakably a variation on baba ganoush. Baba ganoush is a Levantine dish with a long history. We often make a Palestinian version at home. I think it is important to recognise the origin of foods and dishes because then you recognise the cultures they come from (rather than possibly implying that this was something invented in Portland). Of course we borrow from other cultures all the time in our cooking and that is completely appropriate and delicious, but to take without acknowledgement feels problematic.ReplyCancel

    • Laura13/09/2018 - 7:57 am

      Hello Dina,

      Thank you for this comment and for your perspective. I do agree that it’s important to acknowledge food’s origins and the role that it plays within culture. I certainly wasn’t trying to suggest that eggplant-based dips were invented in Portland. I can re-word some of this in hopes of acknowledging this possible miscommunication. In turn, I will ask that you consider the following: If I use or suggest that this dip is in the style of baba ganoush, I am setting the stage for comments and emails telling me that my recipe is not authentic/possibly appropriated in some way, which is totally fair! I’m not afraid of critical comments in general, and honestly mentioning baba ganoush in the actual title had crossed my mind with this post. But with the addition of yogurt and walnuts, the fact that my eggplant was not cooked on coals/open flame, the absence of olive oil in the dip itself, and just with my overall recipe ratios in mind, I was hesitant to go there for fear of offending someone by making too broad of a generalization in terms of a particular cuisine. I will fix some of the copy here in a way that feels appropriate to me, but just wanted you to know that my words are always chosen carefully and that I never seek to lay claim to cuisine that has clear and storied cultural origins. Hoping we can meet halfway.

      Thanks again,
      LauraReplyCancel

      • Marsh13/09/2018 - 2:03 pm

        Well said, Laura, and I totally agree with your “solution”, although I never thought you were making inappropriate claims in the first place. Let’s face it, virtually every single thing we make in our kitchens was already done before by someone, somewhere! But interestingly, I’ve seen a number of blogs just recently in which some commenter feels the need to chastise the author for not giving credit to some past culture or whatever (one blogger got blasted for not giving credit for whoever invented tacos– yes, tacos!). You get blasted if you post an original version of something, such as baba ganoush (stealing!), and you also get blasted if you post a variation of an original (bastardization!). The only time I find fault with a blogger is when they use a direct copy of someone else’s recipe and don’t give credit to that person, but I’ve never seen any of the more professional blogs, such as yours, do that.

        On a happier note, this dip looks fabulous! As do your photos, especially the one showing the full tray. Going to try it when I host my next bookclub meeting– I think they’ll love it (as will I!)

        Keep up the good work, Laura. Love your blog :-)ReplyCancel

      • Hilary16/09/2018 - 6:04 pm

        What a great and thoughtful response, and respectful communication. Seriously love it and I’m making this dip tonight I’ll let you know how it is!ReplyCancel

    • Liadh16/09/2018 - 11:35 am

      I was think the exact same thing, reading this recipe. It really adds to a recipe to speak of the rich roots from which it came.ReplyCancel

  • Jean13/09/2018 - 7:40 am

    Your video attempts may not have been successful but your photos here more than make up for it…just stunning!ReplyCancel

  • Aleisha13/09/2018 - 9:41 pm

    This looks so delicious! Is Anita’s coconut yogurt available in Canada? If not, can you recommend another brand that is?ReplyCancel

    • Laura14/09/2018 - 5:18 am

      Hi Aleisha! Unfortunately Anita’s is not available yet. Best thing you can get here would be Yoso’s unsweetened coconut yogurt.
      -LReplyCancel

  • The Modern Proper14/09/2018 - 7:46 pm

    This sounds really good and deep, full of a range of flavor. I need to cook with more eggplant!ReplyCancel

  • Ahu17/09/2018 - 8:30 am

    Made this in the weekend with your roasted carrot and harissa chickpea dip! They were both yummy! thanks :)ReplyCancel

  • Ruby17/09/2018 - 8:50 am

    I am a huge fan of eggplant in almost every form and this dip is no exception! It looks so creamy and full of amazing flavor. I cannot wait to try it out! Have an amazing time in Montreal (it’s one of my favorite cities in the world!)ReplyCancel

  • Cassie Autumn Tran27/09/2018 - 8:11 pm

    Makes me think of my classic favorite eggplant dip–babaganoush! It’s wonderful with pita bread and raw vegetables!ReplyCancel

  • Alexander01/10/2018 - 1:29 pm

    Laura;.Thank you for the great recipe. I hope to improve my standing with my family as someone who does not always just burn water. I look forward to the seeing their smiles. The primary reason for my note to you Laura, and to the other ladies in the conversation part of your recipe is to express the pleasure I felt in reading the civility and care with which the collective thoughts and considerations were presented. The absence of “ego and self importance” really complimented your great recipe and pictures. Now I will have a tasty and novel dish for my beautiful eggplants and feel good about my blessings in this little experience. thank you for adding character of note to the quality of the recipe.ReplyCancel

  • tanit13/10/2018 - 1:11 pm

    Just made this (minus the walnuts) and it’s DELICIOUSSSS! argh. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!!! :-)ReplyCancel

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