If you have been reading along this week you might have spotted a theme in my cooking being for my toddler’s birthday party which we celebrated last weekend. I suspect it’s not the best time to be experimenting with new recipe ideas, but hey I figured why not just jump in and go for it. I’ll tell you more about the party soon, but for now I wanted to share this tasty eggplant, spinach and white bean dip I made to go along with homemade crackers which I shared earlier in the week. It’s both tasty and healthy and works really well for a party. Plus, if you have any leftover the dip makes a great spread for sandwiches along with eg cheese or chicken, or on it’s own on toast as I had the other day.
What initially inspired me for this dip was the thought of making a dip along the theme of a pool party, which is today’s Sunday Supper theme. I started thinking not just what would be good for a party but also taking the pool party theme a bit literally, and what’s better than a dip that’s almost a water color with some fish in it?! I also wanted to make something that would work for as many people as possible, and this being vegetarian and nut free, not to mention very healthy seemed to fit the bill. Plus if you have it with veggies rather than the crackers, it’s also vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free. Of course it helps that it tastes good and is easy to make, too.
I should admit I’ve actually never been to a pool party – funnily enough, it’s not really a part of life in Scotland with the less-than-tropical climate it has and while we’ve been to a few pools since moving here, they’ve always been just smaller groups and not parties as such. But I can get a fairly good feel for what would be good to take along from all the great ideas others have brought this week (see below) and think this dip fits in perfectly.
As an added bonus to all the goodness mentioned above, this dip is also really quick and easy to make. The eggplant can be cooked in advance and chilled, then the spinach and garlic quickly cooked and everything else added as you need it. Once made, it will keep for a good few days in the fridge as well. One thing I would note is if you want to put crackers on top, do this right before serving as they will soften quickly.
While this started out from wanting to have a bit of fun with the pool party theme, the result is a really easy and tasty dip that’s good for you too. What more could you want for something to bring to a party? Well, a few drinks I suspect, but along with them whip up this eggplant, spinach and white bean dip and enjoy snacking on it, guilt-free, along with your equally tasty and pretty healthy crackers.
Eggplant, spinach and white bean dip
- 1 lb eggplant 450g, approx - 1 large
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic or 2 small, roughly chopped or sliced
- 11 oz baby spinach 310g
- 15 oz cannellini beans 430g (1 can), or other white beans
- 2 tbsp lemon juice approx 1/2 lemon or more, to taste
- salt and pepper optional, to taste
- Grill eggplant until blackened on outside and soft inside, around 10mins, then leave to cool. You can also do this over a gas flame on the stove (just put eggplant on a skewer). Alternatively slice, salt and leave a few mins then pat dry, brush with oil and roast at around 350-400F/175-200C for around 25mins until tender, In both cases, once cooled, remove skin and put the pulp in a food processor and pulse a minute so it's broken up.
- Heat oil over a medium heat in a pan or skillet/frying pan and cook the garlic until softening but before browning. Add the spinach a handful at a time and allow to wilt, then add some more, turning it over so the wilted spinach and garlic is brought to the top. Continue until all the spinach is added then remove from the heat.
- Add spinach, strained and rinsed beans and lemon juice to the eggplant and process until smooth. Taste and add a little more lemon, salt and pepper to taste.
- Great served with homemade crackers (see link above for recipe).
See all the other pool party food ideas:
Refreshing Beverages and Cocktails:
- Beermosas by eating in instead
- Cantaloupe Margaritas by Palatable Pastime
- Lime and Ginger Cordial by Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
- Lime in the Coconut Caipirinha by Cosmopolitan Cornbread
- Limeade Splash by Our Good Life
- Mojito Slush by Life Tastes Good
- Pear and Cranberry Orange Cocktail by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Spiked Blackberry Lemonade by Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
Appealing Appetizers and Snacks:
- Chip and Dip Sunflowers by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Coconut Key Lime Cheesecake Dip by The Crumby Cupcake
- Eggplant, Spinach and White Bean Dip with Homemade Cheddar Crackers by Caroline’s Cooking (you’re here!)
- Grilled Spicy Shrimp with Pineapple Aioli by A Gouda Life
- Low-Carb Turkey Club Bites by Momma’s Meals
- Roasted Jalapeno Hummus by Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
- Spicy Cheesy Corn Dip by Brunch with Joy
- Tropical Fruit with Moscato Glaze Quesadilla by Seduction in the Kitchen
Super Sides and Salads:
- BLT Pasta Salad by A Day in the Life on a Farm
- Mexican Three Bean Salad by Tasting Page
- Olive Tomato Salad by Magnolia Days
- Superfood Crunch Salad by Food Done Light
Tempting Desserts and Sweets: