A Tale of Two Dips

I am the worst blogger ever.

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No seriously, I am, because here I’ve been, eating delicious things and cooking my favorite recipes and going on vacation without even stopping to think that maybe I should take a few minutes out of my day to share these wonderful things with you people.

I don’t know how I sleep at night. I’ll try to be better, promise.

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Some exciting things coming up…3 restaurant reviews (Little Beet Table, Dante, Jane), a recipe for a baked good that actually has flour in it, and a new cocktail I’m trying this weekend.

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Also, two dips I made for my book club a few weeks ago, both super easy,  one that involves throwing things in a blender which as we all know is my specialty.

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While everyone else was crushing Ina Garten’s roasted eggplant spread at book club, I was hoarding the roasted grape and olive crostini from Smitten Kitchen. I’m pretty sure I was the only person eating it and I’m ok with that. Cook’s prerogative.

It’s Friday people so let’s open a bottle of rosé, eat some snacks and neglect our blog responsibilities for another 3 days.

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Roasted eggplant spread
(From Ina Garten)

1 medium eggplant
2 red bell peppers, seeded
1 red onion, peeled
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut the eggplant, bell pepper, and onion into 1-inch cubes. Toss them in a large bowl with the garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Spread them on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are lightly browned and soft – Ina says to toss once during cooking but I didn’t.

Let vegetables cool slightly, then place in food processor or blender. Add tomato paste and pulse 3-4 times to blend. If you’re using a blender you’ll end up with a slightly chunkier dip. Taste for salt and pepper.
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Roasted grape & olive crostini
(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup grapes, I used seedless purple
1 cup olives, I used a blend of pitted kalamata and some kind of green olive
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary, divided
Salt
Red pepper flakes
About 12 slices of toasted baguette or store-bought crostini
3/4 cup ricotta OR 4 ounces goat cheese

Heat oven to 400°F.

Combine olive oil, grapes, olives, 1 teaspoon rosemary, a couple pinches of sea salt and pepper flakes in a baking dish or roasting pan. Roast until grapes are “wilted and leaking juices” to quote Deb, or for about 35 to 55 minutes. If you’d like you can stir the ingredients a few times throughout to ensure even cooking.

Deb suggests spreading each toast with ricotta (or goat cheese), then with the grapes and olives, and topping with remaining rosemary.

Alternatively, you can put out a log of softened goat cheese, top the roasted grapes and olives with remaining rosemary and let guests assemble their own crostini.

Go ahead. Be lazy.

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Book club aftermath

Roasted eggplant spread: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/roasted-eggplant-spread-recipe.html

Roasted grape and olive crostini: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2014/12/roasted-grape-and-olive-crostini/

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