Eggplant Dip

Look for smaller eggplants. They typically have fewer seeds and may be less bitter. This chunky make-ahead dip is meant to be slathered on crusty bread or crackers.



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Ingredients
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    4  1  pounds 
    eggplants or 4 lb. baby eggplants (about 12)
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    4   bulb 
    garlic
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    1   cup 
    extra-virgin olive oil
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    4   teaspoons 
    salt
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    4   medium 
    red sweet peppers, and coarsely chopped
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    2/3  cup 
    lemon juice
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    1/2  cup 
    snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
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    1/4  cup 
    snipped fresh oregano
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    Oregano leaves (optional)
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    Purchased flat breads, broken

Directions
1.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash eggplants; trim and cut into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces. Divide eggplant between 2 15x10x1-inch baking pans or shallow roasting pans. Use a sharp knife to cut off the top 1/2 inch from garlic bulbs to expose individual cloves. Leaving garlic bulbs whole, remove any loose, papery outer layers. Place garlic bulbs on a 12-inch square of heavy foil; drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Wrap foil up around the garlic bulbs to completely enclose.
2.
Drizzle 1/4 cup of the remaining olive oil over eggplant in each pan and sprinkle with salt; toss to coat. Place eggplant and garlic packet in oven, placing pans on 2 separate oven racks. Roast, uncovered, 20 minutes, stirring once. Add half of the sweet pepper to each pan with eggplant; stir to combine. Roast, uncovered, 20 minutes more or until vegetables are tender, stirring once. Remove pans and garlic from oven and cool.
3.
Transfer eggplant and peppers to a very large glass or nonreactive bowl. Squeeze garlic pulp from individual cloves into a small bowl; use the back of a spoon to mash the pulp. Add remaining oil and lemon juice to garlic; whisk to combine. Add oil mixture, parsley, and snipped oregano to eggplant mixture; toss to combine.
4.
Serve immediately, or let mixture stand, covered, up to 1 hour before serving. Or cover and chill mixture up to 3 days; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving. (Or, transfer mixture to a freezer container. Cover and freeze up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator before serving, then let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.) Garnish with oregano leaves. Serve with flat breads pieces. Makes about 40 (1/4-cup) servings.
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