This smoky eggplant dip made with tomatoes and red peppers can be served hot, cold or room temperature.
My husband and I love eating out at a local Turkish restaurant here in Grand Rapids. In typical Liz fashion, I am always more interested in the appetizers than the entire rest of the menu combined. What can I say? I love a good dip.
This eggplant salsa/salad/dip is inspired by the one we always order at the local Turkish restaurant. Smoky, charred, slightly sweet and totally addictive, you won’t believe how easy this healthy appetizer comes together.
To make it, you simply sauté eggplant, tomatoes and red bell peppers in olive oil and season it with garlic, cumin, smoked paprika and a pinch of sugar. The restaurant deep fries the eggplant cubes but my lighter version is just as delicious with half as many calories.
Served warm, room temperature or chilled, it is delicious eaten as a dip with pita chips, as a side with grilled meat or on top of quinoa as a hearty vegetarian main dish. Ideal for making in advance, the flavors only develop and intensity over time so feel free to make a day or two ahead of time.
Your fork is waiting.
Turkish Eggplant Salsa
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups cubed eggplant (no need to peel)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup red bell pepper diced
- 15 ounces diced tomatoes fresh or canned
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne optional
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- minced parsley optional garnish
- Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pot over medium-high heat then sauté garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add eggplant and salt to the pot and fry until eggplant starts to soften, about 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add peppers to the pan and continue to sauté until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Pour in diced tomatoes and all remaining ingredients to the pan and increase heat to high. Bring pan to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer until vegetables are soft and flavors develop, about 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle with minced parsley to serve.
Photography by Alejandro Photography // Recipe by The Lemon Bowl