Country Garden Inn’s Moroccan Eggplant Dip

Country Garden Inn, 1815 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558 (707) 255-1197

The Country Garden Inn, originally built in the 1850’s as a coach house on the Silverado Trail, is situated within a mature wooded riverside garden. The setting is adorned with flowers, stone pathways and a rose garden. Each of the spacious rooms is furnished with English or Irish pine antiques. In addition, Innkeepers Lisa and George Smith pride themselves on their creative full champagne breakfast, homemade evening hors d’oeuvers for happy hour and sweetmeats and dessert wines that await you when you return to the inn at night.

1 lg. (about 1 1/2 pound) Eggplant
3 tbsp Olive oil
1 can (8 oz) Tomato sauce
2 cloves Garlic, minced or pressed
1 Green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp Ground cumin

1/4 tsp Cayenne
2 tsp Sugar
2 tsp Salt
1/4 C Red wine vinegar

Dice the eggplant, discarding the ends. In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, tomato sauce, garlic, green pepper, cumin, cayenne, sugar, salt and vinegar. Cook covered over medium heat for 20 minutes. Uncover and boil mixture over high heat, stirring until reduced to about 3 cups. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Makes 3 cups.

You may increase cayenne for a little extra zip. Serve with a selection of interesting breads such as pita bread and toast points and (of course) some Goosecross Cellars Napa Valley Chardonnay.

This dip freezes very well and may be made ahead.

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