Vegan Chickpea and Eggplant Dip with Dill Pesto is full of bright and bold flavours, yet easy to make and very healthy. It's vegan and gluten-free and will satisfy even the pickiest eaters. Perfect appetizer or snack.
My husband and I love to play this game where I hide eggplant in various recipes and see if he notices it or not. Well, he actually doesn't even know that he plays this game with me. A. doesn't like eggplant and I do. On occasion I cook it just for myself, but I often try to make something where it's not the main ingredient. For example, I'll roast many different kinds of vegetables and mix them together - eggplant will get lost in the medley of flavours and textures. Or I make dips and spreads. Eggplant gets smooth and creamy when blended, so it's perfect to enhance beans which my husband loves.
I play this hiding game with many other foods - I hide quinoa in meatballs. I add avocado to chocolate. Prunes - to brownies. Sometimes when I list all the foods that he doesn't eat it feels overwhelming, but I learned to cook around it. It's the flavour combinations that I miss: sweet and salty isn't something he likes. I don't eat some ingredients either. Celery, for example, is something I absolutely cannot stand in any shape or form. I also don't eat honey and only recently I started to eat mushrooms.
As I mentioned in my last post, I don't really believe in New Year resolutions, yet eating healthy is always on my mind and January seems to be the month to do that (right before the chocolate coma of February starts). This Chickpea and Eggplant Dip with Dill Pesto is part of a Light and Healthy collaboration between a group of bloggers and I am happy to participate in it #FoodBlogGenius
Be sure to check out all other Light and Healthy creations:
Easy Healthy Spicy Sweet Shrimp in Endive Cups from Gloria - Homemade & Yummy
Lentil soup from Melissa - My Wife Can Cook
Cheesy Buffalo Ranch Cauliflower Casserole from Arlene - Flour on My Face
Quick and Easy Black Bean Coconut Curry from Veena - Veena Asmanov
Salted Caramel Chia Oat Balls from Kirsten - Treat Yourself Sweeter
Green Smoothie from Sarah - The Fit Cookie
This Chickpea and Eggplant Dip with Dill Pesto is one of those "hiding" recipes. It's not really a hummus since it doesn't have tahini and is much thicker. It's healthy and easy and has only few ingredients - chickpeas, roasted eggplant, lemon juice and oil for the base and dill, pecans and garlic for the pesto. Vegan and gluten-free, it's full of nutrients and bold and bright flavours. It's also super easy to make and it totally goes onto my list of Mom-recipes. I roasted the eggplant a couple of days before making this dip. Then when I finally had time to make it, I just placed a can of chickpeas and the eggplant into a food processor, added a bit of oil and lemon juice and let it whizz and whirl until smooth. I then used a smaller food processor to make my pesto. I added pecans, dill, garlic and a bit of oil and processed until a thick and flavourful paste formed. That's all that it takes. You don't need to use two food processors either. You can start with pesto and then make the Chickpea and Eggplant Dip in the same processor, no need to clean it either. Minimum ingredients, minimal time, maximum flavour! Serve it with toasted pita or vegetables as a healthy snack or appetizer.
Chickpea and Eggplant Dip with Dill Pesto
Eggplant - 1 medium (about 1 pound)
Olive oil for drizzling on the eggplant
Chickpeas, drained - 1 can (540 ml)
Olive oil - 2 tablespoons
Lemon juice - 1/2 a lemon
Salt to taste
Dill, roughly chopped - 20 g (about 1/4 or 1/3 cup)
Pecans - 40 g (1/3 cup)
Garlic - 1 small clove (optional)
Garlic salt - to taste
Olive oil - 2 tablespoons
Water - 1 tablespoon (or use extra tablespoon of olive oil)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Wash and cut the eggplant in half lengthwise.
- Cut the top part with the stem off.
- Drizzle the eggplant with a bit of oil, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper cut side down.
- Bake for about 30-45 minutes or until the eggplant is soft when pierced with a knife.
- Let it cool. You can keep it in an air tight container in the fridge for a few days.
- When ready to make the dip, roughly chop the eggplant and place in a food processor.
- Add the drained chickpeas, oil, lemon juice and process until smooth.
- Add salt to taste.
- To make the dill pesto, combine all the pesto ingredients in a food processor and pulse until thick paste forms.
- I add a bit of water to make the pesto smoother without adding extra calories, but more oil can be used too.
- Garlic clove is optional but adds a great flavour.
- To serve, place the Chickpea and Eggplant dip in a bowl and scoop the Dill Pesto over it. Drizzle with more olive oil if desired. Eat with toasted pita or vegetables.