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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Spicy Eggplant & Red Pepper Dip

By Rebecca Sodergren, staff writer and Countdown to Dinner

My favorite recipe of 2000 was a dip (no, smart aleck, this does not say anything about my personality).

Spicy Eggpant & Red Pepper Dip is great with tortilla chips, but because of its thick consistency that resembles a spread, it would also be good with toasted pita triangles, crusty bread or crackers.

The dip is from "Cooking FUNdamentals," a cookbook meant for young people and written by a young person -- Faith Heinauer of Aspinwall. We ran this and several other recipes from her cookbook in an October story. (For more information or to order the cookbook, check her Web site at www.bitchin-kitchenonline.com.)

This dip is perfect for anyone who craves something low-cal/fat. It's addictingly good with plenty of zing!

Spicy Eggplant & Red Pepper Dip

1 eggplant, unpeeled
2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes (1/2 teaspoon for wimps)
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash eggplant and peppers. Cut the eggplant and peppers into medium-sized chunks. Toss the vegetables, oil, crushed garlic, crushed red pepper flakes and salt together. Place vegetable mixture on baking sheet (preferably a nonstick baking sheet) and bake for 15 minutes. Toss vegetables around and bake for another 10 minutes.

Let veggies cool for 10 minutes. Throw the roasted vegetables into a food processor or blender.

Puree and serve. Serves 4 to 8.

Faith Heinauer's
"Cooking FUNdamentals"

Thursday, January 04, 2001

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