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Meatless Monday: Eggplant and Goat Cheese Dip

Posted Aug 02 2010 4:00am

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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