Here’s further proof that great food doesn’t have to be complicated. This delicious dip relies on just three ingredients. It’s a great way to introduce kids to eggplant, a vegetable that even some adults find difficult to get used to.
The preparation is reminiscent of Middle Eastern baba ganoush, except that here the eggplant is fried rather than roasted and bound with peanut butter rather than tahini (sesame paste). We served it with freshly made sweet potato chips, an immediate hit with the kids in my food appreciation classes. But you could also use corn chips, root vegetable chips or fresh crudite.
Here’s another secret: there’s hardly anything kids love better than cutting vegetables or pounding things with a potato masher.
Start by peeling a tomato–20 seconds in boiling water, then transferred to a bowl of cool water to stop the cooking. The skin should remove easily. Cut the tomato in half and squeeze out the seeds, then remove the stem end and chop into small pieces. (Or substitute fresh tomato with 1 cup diced or crushed tomato from a can.)
Peel 1 medium eggplant. I normally do this with a serrated bread knife, first cutting away the ends. Stand the eggplant on a cutting board and slice the skin away lengthwise. Cut the eggplant into 3/4-inch rounds and, in a heavy skillet, fry in oil over moderately high heat until nicely browned on both sides. (Or, cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes and fry in a deep-fryer.) Drain on paper towels.
Place the cooked eggplant and tomato in a mixing bowl, season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and smash thoroughly with a potato masher. Mix in 1 tablespoon smooth, unsweetened peanut butter. We use a brand without additives from Whole Foods. A wooden spoon works well to whip the peanut butter into the eggplant-tomato mix.
And that’s all there is to it. Yet this dip could hardly be more healthful as a snack or an easy hors d-oeuvres.
Read more great stories about how we are taking back our food system at Fight Back Friday.