Roasted Aubergine Dip or "Zacusca" made with charred aubergines and red peppers, onions and tomatoes, a delicious appetizer that tastes like Fall. Vegetarian and vegan friendly, low in calories and healthy too.
This roasted aubergine / eggplant dip is a delicious starter usually served with bread of any kind. I like to serve it with regular white bread, flatbread or soda bread.
It's a popular recipe in Romania called "zacusca de vinete", usually made in Autumn when aubergines and peppers are in season. Not only they are a lot tastier, but also cheaper too, so you can buy quite a lot for less and stock up your pantry.
The dip / spread can also be stored in air-tight jars to be enjoyed later on in winter. A quick, inexpensive and healthy vegan-friendly dip made with nothing but natural ingredients. Enjoy it for breakfast spread on toast, or as a dip whenever you have a party, it's absolutely delicious.
Roasting the vegetables gives them that delightful charred flavour, so the dip doesn't need much seasoning to taste fabulous, the very taste of the vegetables is rich enough. Let's see how to make it!
How to make roasted aubergine dip or Romanian Zacusca
I like to make enough of the day tough, since I don't have that much space for storing, and it disappears in seconds anyway. Even kids love this recipe, and that says a lot about it. With fussy kids, one can never know what to expect, and it feels great to see the whole family enjoying your cooking.
- use a grill if you have, if not, the oven is good enough to roast the eggplants and peppers. Leave to roast until the peel is charred and the flesh is soft
- leave to cool, then peel them off, and chop finely (the peppers can be left a bit chunkier if you wish)
- fry the onions, add the chopped tomatoes and leave to cook until mushy
- then add the chopped eggplants and peppers, season with salt and pepper, and add a bit of vinegar to taste
- leave to cook until the dip starts to bubble
- remove from the heat and serve either hot or cold with your favourite bread
It goes to show that veggies can be very tasty too, without the addition of meat. I do like meat, don't get me wrong, but sometimes having a break from it can work wonders for your body. You can still get all your nutrients you need from vegetables and other food, so that's not a big problem. So, who's in for a slice of Fall goodness?
Other aubergine recipes
A similar aubergine dip is Easy Baba Ganoush Recipe ,also vegan and gluten free, although it does not use tomatoes and peppers, instead it's made with tahini paste and lemon juice. But the process is pretty similar.
Another similar recipe is the Romanian aubergine salad with mayonnaise. The difference between Baba Ganoush and the mayo aubergine salad is that the Romanian salad uses homemade mayonnaise and lemon juice to flavour it.
My favourite dinner dishes made with aubergines are: Stuffed Aubergines, Aubergine Parmigiana and Stacked Aubergine. Do give them a go!
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Roasted Aubergine Dip
- 3 aubergines
- 2 red peppers
- 2 onions
- 4 large tomatoes
- ½ tablespoon vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C (428 Fahrenheit) or heat up the grill.
- Place the aubergines and peppers on a roasting tray / on the grill and roast until the flesh is soft, this might take about 45 minutes in the oven, on the grill it depends entirely on the heat. The peppers will be ready a lot quicker, so do keep an eye on them.
- When the aubergines and peppers are charred and the flesh is soft, allow them to cool, then peel, remove the seeds from the peppers and chop the aubergines finely. The peppers can be left in bigger chunks, if you prefer.
- Next, peel and chop the onions.
- Heat up the oil in a pan, add the onions and fry until soft.
- Chop the tomatoes and add them to the pan, stirring until they become mushy.
- Add the aubergines and peppers and stir well.
- Mix in the vinegar, and season with salt and pepper.
- When the sdip starts to bubble, turn off the heat and leave to cool slightly.
- It can be served either hot or cold.
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