Prepared with flavorful spices, my warm eggplant dip is an appetizer fit for a cozy date night in, or any occasion that calls for sharing a uniquely delicious dip. Chunks of eggplant and tomatoes are seasoned and roasted to tender perfection, then dressed in olive oil, garlic and fresh herbs before being spooned atop of thick and creamy spiced yogurt!
Warm Eggplant Dip, a Delectable Shareable Finger Food
After a long week, nothing is more inviting to my husband and I than the arrival of Friday evening...
For us, Friday evenings are sacred, as we use them to consciously unwind, light our candles, prepare some delicious finger foods, and enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail over good conversation.
Connecting this way is a real treat, and because these Fridays are so meaningful to us, and because we so deeply enjoy them, I always try to prepare something for us to nibble on that is a little extra special.
A few months back, I prepared this particular roasted eggplant dip for us to enjoy, which I based very loosely on a beloved warm eggplant appetizer we’ve enjoyed at a favorite local Middle Eastern restaurant.
But because I always like to play a little with my food, and put my own unique “stamp” on things, I changed the flavor profile slightly, and added in a few more ingredients...
I dressed small cubes of eggplant as well as fresh tomatoes in olive oil and spices such as harissa, cumin, coriander and smoked paprika, then roasted them together until caramelized, juicy and tender.
While still warm, I dressed the roasted veggies with a bit of extra olive oil, added in a couple of cloves of fresh garlic, some fresh dill, mint and parsley, then gently tossed until combined.
And because I craved something cool and creamy to serve as a base for this dip, I spooned the warm, roasted eggplant mixture atop of mildly spicy Greek yogurt, and served with pita wedges or crackers.
Let me tell you, this warm eggplant dip with spiced yogurt is so scrumptious! It's the perfect shareable appetizer, and a terrific combination of both warm and cool in every bite.
How to Make Eggplant Dip Using Roasted Eggplant
I'm a big, big fan of eggplant, and roasting eggplant is probably my most preferred way of preparing it.
Roasted eggplant is not only terrific and flavorful to munch on directly off the baking sheet, but it's ideal to use in a smoky, savory and scrumptious Middle Eastern-style warm dip.
When eggplant is roasted with some olive oil and spices (and in the case of this dip, I add some cherry tomatoes to the mix as well), it becomes super tender and golden-brown, loaded with flavor.
The roasted eggplant becomes very easy to run my knife through and roughly chop all the ingredients into a kind of chunky-yet-smooth texture for the dip, add some fresh herbs and some garlic, and spoon everything over some thick yogurt!
Here's a glance my warm eggplant dip with spiced yogurt recipe: or just jump to the recipe
- Before I roast my eggplant and tomatoes, I drizzle them quite liberally with good quality olive oil, and season well with my mixture of aromatic spices.
- Next, I roast for roughly 40 minutes at a high temp of 400° until caramelized and tender.
- While the veggies roast, I whisk some plain Greek yogurt together with some salt and spices, and set aside to have as the cool base to my dip.
- Once the eggplant and tomatoes are roasted, I scoop the mixture onto my cutting board, and give it a bit of chop to create a silky-yet-still-slightly-chunky texture.
- Then, I drizzle over a bit more olive oil, sprinkle over some pressed garlic, season with more salt and pepper if needed, add a sprinkle of fresh herbs, and gently fold the ingredients together.
- I then spoon the warm, roasted eggplant mixture over the cool, spiced yogurt, finish with a flourish of herbs for more color, and serve with pita bread and/or my favorite crackers.
Warm Eggplant Dip with Spiced Yogurt
by Ingrid Beer
Cuisine: American/Middle Eastern
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 118 calories
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
- 2 Chinese eggplants (or about 1 pound total), cut into roughly 1” cubes
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- Olive oil
- Black pepper
- 1 1/4 teaspoon harissa, divided use
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 1/4 cup plain, full-fat Greek yogurt
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon tiny mint leaves
- Preheat the oven to 400°, and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
- Place the cubes of eggplant and the halved cherry tomatoes into a large bowl, and drizzle in about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil; sprinkle in a couple of generous pinches of salt and black pepper, plus 1 teaspoon of the harissa, all of the cumin, coriander and smoked paprika, and toss to combine.
- Turn the seasoned eggplant/tomato mixture onto the baking tray, and spread everything out as much as possible so that things caramelize rather than steam too much (single layer is best); roast for 40 minutes, stirring a couple of times during the roasting, until very tender and caramelized.
- While the veggies roast, prepare your spiced yogurt by whisking together the yogurt, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of harissa, the pinch of cayenne, the lemon zest plus about 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a bowl (you want it have some savoriness); keep chilled in fridge until ready to top with warm eggplant and serve.
- Once the eggplant/tomato mixture has roasted, scoop or spoon it onto a cutting board, and chop things up a bit to create a texture that is a bit smooth/velvety, yet still a little chunky; drizzle over that another tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle over the garlic, plus most of the chopped herbs, reserving a little bit for garnish.
- Gently mix these ingredients together right on your cutting board with a spoon to incorporate the flavors, then taste the warm eggplant/tomato to see if any additional salt/pepper/seasoning is needed.
- To assemble the dip, spoon the cool, spiced yogurt into the bottom of a serving bowl and platter, creating a little “bed”; then, spoon over that the warm eggplant/tomato mixture, add another small drizzle of olive oil, and garnish with the remaining fresh herbs.
- Serve with pita, crackers, or even toast.
Tips & Tidbits for my Warm Eggplant Dip with Spiced Yogurt:
- Chinese eggplant for tender eggplant with flavor: I like to use Chinese eggplant for this recipe, which is longer and thinner than the globe eggplants. They tend to be a little less bitter and roast up deliciously. But if all you have on hand is the globe eggplant, that's fine, just cut into small cubes.
- Fresh cherry tomatoes for flavor: If you can find ripe cherry tomatoes in the market, those are great to halve and use here. Other types you can use are campari or grape tomatoes, or even red, ripe Roma tomatoes, in season.
- Roast at a higher temperature: Roasting at a temperature of 400° will help the eggplant gain some caramelization, which of course equals flavor. The eggplant does steam a little bit with the tomatoes, but those juices provide good flavor here as well.
- Fresh herbs for flavor: The combination of fresh mint, dill, and parsley is really delicious, but feel free to use just one of these, or your favorite combo. You could also substitute a little oregano, or even use some cilantro.
- Plain, full-fat Greek yogurt for cool creaminess: A nice thick Greek yogurt blended with some sea salt and spices offers a cool, creamy and flavorful base for the warm eggplant dip. Keep it cold, and when ready to enjoy the dip, spoon it onto a shallow bowl or serving platter, then top with the warm eggplant dip mixture.