Ahh – the football season is here. I really could live just fine without football…but food? NO:) Buffalo wings, sliders, cheese galore, meatballs, chips & dip: all the usual game day fare. Whether you’re tailgating at the game or watching via the basement man cave, eating and game day go together. Food that doesn’t require a plate and fork [or the forbidden knife!] seems to be the most popular. Sometimes though I need a balance of healthier options with the deep fried or greasy variety of offerings. So let me introduce you: Baba Ganoush, meet Hummus. I think the two of will get along famously! And do they ever. Sure, I can buy a container of hummus or baba ganoush at most grocery stores or markets in my area. But there’s really no need when you can make your own tastier variety pretty darn quick. The addition of roasted red peppers give this dip it’s beautiful color. Aside from roasting the eggplant, all this dip needs is a quick spin in a food processor or blender.
The last two eggplants from the garden inspired this yummy dip. They weren’t quite big enough to make a meal. Enter dip making. But what to put it on? Enter the flat-bread recipe I found via Martha Stewart. It’s a great tool to get the dip in your mouth! Fresh cut veggies [peppers, cucumbers, carrots, etc] will get the job done as well. I like to offer bread + the cut vegetables with the dip. But of course, that’s up to you. This was my first attempt to make a bread like this. Results=more please! It has a nice crunch to it, reminiscent of a cracker. It can be seasoned with whatever you want before baking: fresh herbs, finely grated cheese, garlic, sea salt. It’s up to you. Our favorite with the dip, was the simple sea salt variety. Have fun with your favorite combinations.
1 large eggplant [or two smaller in my case], about 1 pound total weight
1 15-ounce can low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1/4 cup roasted red peppers
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 Tablespoons sesame tahini
2 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic
•Heat oven to 450°F. Cut the eggplant[s] in half lengthwise. Place cut side down on a baking sheet. Prick exterior of each half 6 or so times with a fork. Bake about 40 minutes, or until flesh is soft and halves are slightly collapsed.
•When cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh [you should yield about 1 cup of eggplant flesh] and place in the food processor/blender. Discard the skin.
•Add the chickpeas, roasted red peppers, parsley, tahini, lemon juice and garlic. Process/blend until smooth. Serve with bread, crackers or veggies.
1 cup warm water [about 110°F]
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface and hands
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for bowl
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 large egg whisked with 1 Tablespoon water, for egg wash
Sea salt, for sprinkling
Optional: chopped fresh herbs, dried herbs, garlic, grated cheese
•Place water in a medium bowl; sprinkle with yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, oil, 2 teaspoons coarse salt, and the sugar. Stir until dough forms.
•Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead with floured hands until smooth, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, and cover with towel or plastic wrap. Let dough stand in a warm, draft-free place until it doubles in volume, about 1 hour.
•Preheat oven to 350ºF. Divide dough into 16 equal pieces; cover with towel or plastic wrap.
•Roll out 1 piece to roughly 4 by 10 inches on a lightly floured surface; transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush with egg wash; sprinkle with sea salt or toppings of your choice. Repeat with remaining dough, arranging 4 pieces per sheet.
•Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until crisp and golden, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool on sheets on a wire rack.
Note: Flat-bread/crackers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.