SPICED EGGPLANT DIP WITH SQUASH CHIPS
Recipe by Courtney McDonald; Serves 6
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
1 ½ tsp. ground coriander
1 Tbsp. smoked Spanish paprika
1 ¼ lbs. black beauty or other eggplant
1/2 tsp. crushed smoked dried chilies
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup sesame tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
salt, to taste
1 recipe Zephyr squash chips (recipe follows) peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sweat until onions are soft and fragrant, about 6 minutes. Add the cumin, coriander, paprika and crushed chilies. Cook until spices are fragrant, about 2 more minutes. Add the eggplant and reduce heat to low. Stir to coat evenly with the onion/spice mixture and cook until eggplant begins to soften. If eggplant begins to stick to the bottom of the pot, add a little water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is completely soft, about 20-30 minutes. Add salt to taste and remove from heat.
Puree the eggplant mixture in the bowl of a food processor to the desired consistency, or mash finely with a potato masher. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl and add the parsley, tahini, and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary, and serve hot or cold with the squash chips.
Zephyr Squash Chips
2 medium-sized Zephyr squash, rinsed
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 225. Line 2 baking sheets with non-stick silicon baking mats. Brush the mats with olive oil. Using a mandolin slicer, slice the Zephyr squash as thinly as possible and line the slices in a single layer (not overlapping) on the baking sheets. Brush the top side of the squash with olive oil, lightly season with salt and pepper and bake in the preheated oven until chips are completely dry and crisp – 1 ½ to 2 hours. Let cool completely before removing from the baking mat. Store in an airtight container until ready to eat.