This Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Dip, a rich, smoky, creamy dip that borrows from baba ganoush is a recipe that doesn’t require you to spend a few days shopping for all the ingredients. You only need a handful, and like many great dishes, it’s very simple in concept, but the results are quite complex. Roast the eggplant and bell pepper; scrape out the flesh; mix it with some chopped onion, mayo, salt, and pepper; and serve.
Charring the eggplant and bell pepper over high heat infuses this dip with a lot of smokiness. So the main goal is to develop that deep smoky flavor – the eggplant should be cooked until collapsing at the slightest touch, and the bell pepper should be charred all over. When you think they’re done, cook them some more. As you lift them from its stem cap, they should hang like deflated hot-air balloon.
Place them directly under the broiler or on a direct flame and wait until it’s meltingly tender and charred. A good rule of thumb is to cook it until you think it’s burnt beyond saving. That’s when you’re good to go.
first things first
The eggplant: big regular eggplants are usually the ones I use, but smaller types are quicker to cook. Click here to learn more about choosing the best eggplant.
After cooking the eggplant, the next step is drainage. Transfer the roasted, deflated eggplant to a fine-mesh strainer to drain off excess liquid. Don’t skip this step – the dip made with drained eggplant flesh has a creamier texture than the version made with undrained flesh. It may take up to an hour for the eggplant to drain completely, but I usually do 20 to 30 minutes.
Then finally stir the ingredients together. Slice the roasted bell pepper and finally chop the onion – feel free to add some garlic. Doing it by hand instead of using a food processor produces a slightly chunky dip with a lovely texture. So just stir mayo right in and season with salt and pepper.
The result is a dip that’s light, creamy, and smokey. Perfect for your next dinner party.
Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Dip
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1/2 red onion
- 2 tbsp mayo
- black pepper
- olive oil, for garnish, optional
- If Using a Grill: Preheat the grill to medium heat. Place the eggplant and bell pepper directly over heat source. Cook, turning occasionally with tongs, until completely tender and well charred on all sides, 30 to 40 minutes.
- If Using the Broiler: Adjust rack to 6 inches below broiler and preheat to high. Place eggplant and bell pepper on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides and completely tender, about 30 minutes. They should be very tender.
- Transfer eggplant to a fine-mesh strainer set in a bowl. Discard all drippings.
- Carefully scoop out the flesh with a spoon, picking out any stray bits of skin and blackened flesh. Return to bowl.
- Finely slice the roasted bell pepper, and finely chop the red onion.
- Add bell pepper and onion to eggplant. Add mayo and stir vigorously with a fork until eggplant breaks down into a rough paste. The mixture should become pale and creamy – add more mayo if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with toasted baguette or warm pita bread.
Tips & Tricks: The dip can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
If you make this Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Dip please be sure to leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you and I love responding to every comment. And don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram. I’d love to see your photos!