Roasted Eggplant Spread

This recipe was recommended to me by a friend in Atlanta, who has a great design blog of her own...check it out!  As Taylor mentions on her blog, she loves Barefoot Contessa.  We had cable for a while, then canceled it, and will be getting it back for the World Cup.  So, maybe with more time this Summer I can plug into her show and discover more of her recipes, too!

This recipe was quick and easy, and a great way to use eggplant (which is tricky to cook successfully sometimes)!

Roasted Eggplant Spread 
(From Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and Taylor's blog)

1 medium eggplant
2 red bell peppers
1 sweet onion (original recipe calls for a red onion)
2 garlic cloves
3 tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1 tbs. tomato paste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1-inch cubes.  Toss them in a large bowl with garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Spread them on a baking sheet.  Roast for 45 minutes until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft, tossing once during cooking.  Cool slightly.

Place the vegetables in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add tomato paste and pulse 3-4 times to blend.  Taste for salt and pepper.  * I like my dips to have a little kick, so to this I added some cumin and cayenne.

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