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February 02, 2009
Remember how excited I was when my beet, tomato and yogurt salad turned out to have just 70 calories? Well, I've got another 70-calorie wonder, this eggplant caviar that I created for Parade Magazine.
Calorie counts, as well as carb and cholesterol counts, are odd things for me. I've got a sense of what's what nutritionally. I know what's highly caloric and what's not, what's generally healthful and what's not, and I guess that I must police myself on some unconscious level. I know that I think about these things when I'm creating recipes. Not when I'm creating a hot-fudge sundae -- then, all I'm thinking about is getting the flavors of childhood. Or not, for example, when I'm creating a butter coookie -- then, I'd never stint on the most caloric ingredient, the butter, because it would be a disaster for the cookie. Or not when I'm making a classic or traditional recipe -- again, I wouldn't want to compromise what made the dish a classic in the first place. But when I'm making something new, particularly a savory dish, I like to see how much flavor and texture I can get with how little oil or butter or cream. It's a kind of game I play with myself and, as in any game, it's always fun to win -- and I consider this dip a winner!
The dip's made by roasting a couple of eggplants in a hot oven until their bellies give at a prod. The scooped-out flesh is whirred in a food processor with a little olive oil, and then I add lemon juice and zest (the combo really brightens the dish), garlic, onion and basil. The mix is delicious and it's easy to make, too (another reason it's a winner).
Sure the dip clocks in at 70 calories in part because the count doesn't include pita wedges, but if you wanted to be really, really careful, you could spread it on tomato slices or scoop it up with lettuce leaves or endive, nature's most perfect scooper.
And, you can play around with the recipe. I added chopped tomatoes to the dip in the picture, but it'll take roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, cilantro or even a little thyme.
Naturally, if you're not as jazzed about a 70-calorie dip as I am, you could add tahini, but then your eggplant caviar would not only be richer, it would be babaganoush!
For the recipe, click over to Parade's website.
Soups & Starters
Alisa (Frugal Foodie)
| February 2, 2009 12:29 PM
I love eggplant dip, just roasted or made baba ghanoush style! I like the idea of some sun-dried tomatoes.
My First Kitchen
| February 2, 2009 2:58 PM
I've never thought about adding sundried tomatoes to eggplant! Such a great idea, and I'm really looking forward to trying the combination. Thanks so much!
| February 2, 2009 3:49 PM
Dorie, I like your picture at the top of the blog. And I can see that you are thin. I think it was in Baking from my House to Yours that you said that you bake every day. I have been wondering how this is possible. Then wrote about the Yogurt at lunch and I began to get a clue. I am liking baking more and more, but I would like to know how all these calories work out. Do you only bake for recipe testing?
| February 2, 2009 4:13 PM
Alisa and My First Kitchen, when you make the dip with sun-dried tomatoes, I hope you'll let me know what you think.
Radish, I do bake everyday, sometimes because I'm testing recipes, but more often just for the fun of it. Today, I made a mound -- make that a mountain -- of meringues and I'm hoping to find a little time to make some cookies later. Here's what I do: I bake whatever I feel like and I eat whatever I want, then I share. Depending on where I am, what I bake goes to my family and my neighbors and, if I'm in New York, the men who run the elevator in our apartment house. Also, I freeze a lot of what I make so that I've always got something for when friends come to visit. I'm lucky because I'm thin, but given how much I bake -- and cook -- if I ate everything that I made, the story would be very different. I never deprive myself, but I try, try, try not to finish a whole batch of anything on my own. The one exception is ice cream -- I find ice cream completely irresistible.
| February 2, 2009 4:23 PM
This type of dip is also awesome with a little bit of goat's milk yogurt...which I suppose would up the calorie count a bit but it adds a nice piquant quality just the same...
| February 2, 2009 4:43 PM
Just great! I love when something delicious also turns out to be good for you!
| February 2, 2009 8:12 PM
This dip sounds wonderful! I love roasted eggplants.
| February 3, 2009 10:22 AM
This dip sounds great. Being mostly vegetables, it's probably a good source of vitamins, too.
| February 3, 2009 1:53 PM
I'm sorry to be so "hors contexte", but I had to come and thank you for the comment you left on my blog.
You made my day! I'm totaly flattered that THE Dorie Greenspan came over to visit, never mind leave a message... what a joy!
It is very appreciated, just as all your wonderful recipes we bake every week. OH! and answering all of our question last month was out of this world, thanks for that too! It made me feel much closer to you!
Thanks a million!
| February 3, 2009 3:35 PM
I adore eggplants in any shape and form! This dip looks fantastic, and even better that it is good for me too!
| February 5, 2009 10:17 AM
wow! this is my favorite turkish appetizer. but instead of basil we generally use parsley sprinkled on top or serve it alongside an arugula salad.
Aysegul ~ Ny's Delight
| February 6, 2009 6:50 PM
This look delicious, I love anything with eggplant. It really is a great low calorie appetizer. I often make this as well its a great Turkish dish, I roast the peppers as well and blend it in with some parsley. Great mediterranean style dish!
| February 7, 2009 5:00 PM
I am a Weight Watcher member and recipes like you Healthy Eggplant Dip are of great interest to me but with WW's new point system, one of the pieces of information I must have to evaluate the point impact is "fiber". That factor is not included in the Sunday Parade Magazine (2/7/09) nor on the website. Could you please add that piece of information to all your recipes for us WW folk and could you provide me with that particular value for this eggplant dip? Thank you.
| February 10, 2009 12:26 AM
funnily enough i just edited a small video showing how to make baba ghanouj! take a look!
| February 11, 2009 12:49 AM
I would love to see this recipe, but the link isn't the right one-- it takes me to someone's blog called "Simple Food," rather than the recipe for Parade Magazine.
| February 11, 2009 9:20 AM
Thanks all for your great suggestions -- goat cheese yogurt sounds like a perfect addiiton, as does just plain yogurt.
Jeanne wrote saying that the link to the recipe was incorrect and she was right! I'm so sorry. I've corrected the link on the post, so please try again. It should be:
And, just so you know, you can usually find the current recipes in the magazine if you go to parade.com and scroll down.
Italian Kitchen Guy
| March 11, 2009 12:41 PM
MMM... looks great, I am going to try to this tonight. I am planing on making a Mediterranean style dinner for tomorrow night so I am going to experiment with a few different recopies!
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