Roasted Eggplant and Smoked Almond Dip
Looking for a fresh, unexpected dip for your next gathering? This roasted eggplant and smoked almond dip is delicious served on a cracker or as a side or salad. Unique? Yes. Delicious? Absolutely!
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Nothing about this dip is traditional. It doesn’t contain traditional dip-containing things. (Eggplant, nuts, goat cheese, parsley, honey.)
It’s definitely not what you’d think of as football food. (Where’s the cheese and bacon?)
And yet here I am, sharing it the week before the Super Bowl, when I’d normally share lots of delicious football party worthy snacks.
What’s going on?
(This may be a mostly baking-based food blog, but personally, I can usually take it or leave it when it comes to sweets. Salty snacks, dips, and finger foods, however, are my absolute favorite.)
This year, I’m encouraging you to think outside the normal fare when it comes to party food. I mean, yes, of course there will be wings. And cheesy bacon corn dip. And ham and cheese sliders and roast beef sliders. Obviously.
But there should also be a big bowl of this roasted eggplant and smoked almond dip.
Eat as a dip… or a salad
And if football parties and dips really aren’t you thing? Serve it as a salad at a dinner party, or as a side in a bowl to pass around the table. It can just as easily be consumed with a fork, which is how I intended it the first time I made it.
I just happened to serve it next to a bowl of pita chips, intended for this creamy artichoke dip — but next thing I knew, people were using the pita chips to scoop up the eggplant and it was such a brilliant pairing that this moved straight from the “salad” category into the “dip” category and I’ve never looked back.
But it works great as a salad, or a side. Or a dip. It’s gluten free (just check the smoked almonds) and vegetarian, so it’s perfect to serve at large parties and gatherings to accommodate friends with all dietary restrictions. I’ve even made a vegan version using homemade cashew cheese in lieu of the goat cheese for friends who keep Kosher.
Roast Eggplants for the Best Flavor
One of the reasons this dip is so good is because there are so many flavors and textures. The eggplant is wonderfully soft and sweet, while the nuts are smokey and crunchy and the goat cheese is creamy and sharp.
Eggplants can often be bitter and tough, so to achieve the mellow, sweet texture for the dip, we’re going to start by roasting it. Roasting is one of my favorite ways to prepare pretty much any vegetable, and eggplant is no exception.
Not only does roasting vegetables make them soft, it also makes them taste sweeter. (And who doesn’t want sweeter tasting vegetables?) Why is this? It’s time for my favorite subject… kitchen chemistry!
When dry heat is applied to vegetables during roasting, the vegetable undergoes caramelization, a non-enzymatic brownining reaction. The naturally occurring sugars in the vegetables break down (around 320 ° for sucrose and glucose) into hundreds of new aromatic compounds, making the vegetables taste much sweeter.
Tips and Tricks for Roasted Eggplant and Smoked Almond Dip
- Roast the eggplant until soft and just slightly charred. If the eggplant is not soft after 45 minutes, tent with foil and continue to cook until soft.
- Smoked almonds can often be found in the grocery store (we usually find them at Wegmans) or purchased online via Amazon (link is affiliate).
- Chop almonds into small pieces – it makes the dip easier to scoop!
- Serve dip at room temperature; if leftovers are refrigerated, let it sit at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes to warm up before serving.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
More Delicious Dip Recipes:
- Roasted Garlic White Bean Dip
- Creamy Artichoke Dip
- Cheesy Bacon Corn Dip
- Spinach and Artichoke Dip
- Caramelized Onion Dip
- All Dip Recipes »
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition information below reflects dip alone, without additional crackers.
Nutrition Information: Yield: 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 302 Total Fat: 21.4g Carbohydrates: 22.2g Protein: 9.7g
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
This Roasted Eggplant and Smoked Almond Dip recipe was originally published on 09/01/2015. It was republished on 01/23/2020 with new text and photographs.