Roasted Eggplant Artichoke and White Bean Dip

creamy dip

If you’re looking for an easy and delicious appetizer or snack to serve up this summer, I have just the thing! My roasted eggplant, artichoke and white bean dip.

This wonderful dip is like an Italian version of hummus.

It’s full of flavor and quite healthy and comes together quickly using canned cannellini beans and a jar of marinated artichoke hearts, with no tahini required! ( I never was a fan).


pricked eggplant

The only cooking you’ll be doing is roasting your eggplant, this can be done a day ahead of time, just pierce the skin and roast it whole.

roasted eggplant

The eggplant will eventually collapse and become soft, when it cools down you’ll be able to slice and scoop out the nice creamy flesh inside, which is a key component in your dip along with the artichoke hearts, white beans.


Perfect for entertaining with a beverage of your choice. Serve it swiped on crusty bread, crackers or even veggies.

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Roasted Eggplant Artichoke and White Bean Dip
An easy to make summer dip, snack or appetizer!
  • 2 medium/ small eggplant left whole, roasted with flesh scooped out
  • 1 jar of marinated artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 can of cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 or 2 small garlic cloves
  • small handful each of basil and parsley
  • ¼ cup olive oil, extra for top garnish
  • lemon zest
  • a small pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Small jar of roasted red peppers drained, which you will use for garnish only
  • a few olives
  • a swipe of roasted red pepper paste easily made by draining a jar of roasted red peppers and swirling them in a food processor into a thick consistency.
  • olive oil
  • extra chopped herbs
  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  3. Poke fork holes all around the whole eggplant skin, then roast until eggplant is soft and collapsed.
  4. Let the eggplant cool down and then scoop out the flesh.
  5. In a food processor add the artichoke hearts, the beans, the eggplant pulp, olive oil, basil, parsley, garlic cloves, lemon zest and pulse slowly to desired consistency. ( I like to see some of the artichoke bits). Taste for salt and pepper.
  6. Place dip into a serving bowl and make a swirl on top with a small spoon, drizzle in some olive oil into the swirl, add the red color of the roasted red pepper.
  7. Sprinkle with herbs.
  8. Serve with toasted bread, crackers or veggies



Dinner Party Worthy, Shrimp and Artichoke Risotto

I made this recently and it was such a big hit I wanted to share!  Succulent tiger shrimp with fresh artichoke hearts, sitting on a bed of creamy risotto.
The flavor was super enhanced by this fabulous roasted garlic olive oil I received from Colavita. I love their olive oils but I never tried their roasted garlic version, all I can say is you need a bottle of this in your kitchen! I had a few fresh artichokes ( you could use frozen, I wouldn’t use canned) that I cut, quartered and steamed, then tossed them into the garlic oil and placed them in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes, the flavor is addicting!
I did the same thing with the shrimp, tossing them into the roasted garlic oil, sprinkling them with salt, pepper and a little peperoncino. I roasted the shrimp Ina’s way on a baking sheet for 5 or 6 minutes at 400 until the shrimp are cooked through. This method is full proof, cooks perfect every time!
The risotto itself was made with 1 box of chicken stock that was warmed in a pot on my stove and
 1 1/2 cups of arborio rice.
In a heavy bottomed pan heat 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sweat 1/2 diced onion. Add the rice, stirring and coating it with the butter and oil. Saute for a couple of minutes but don’t brown it, then add 1/2 cup of white wine and let it absorb. Add a ladle of hot chicken stock to the rice and let all the liquid absorb, then add another ladle and repeat the process stirring constantly.
I tossed in a handful of frozen peas along the way, added fresh snipped basil and parsley and a touch more butter in the end.
Pour your creamy warm risotto on a nice big platter and lay your roasted artichokes and shrimp all around.
The roasted garlic flavor took the risotto to another level, there wasn’t one grain of rice left!


Seafood Boil

We have family visiting us from Florida right now but I wanted to quick show you this fabulous dinner they made for us the other night, a scrumptious Seafood Boil!

Here’s all the ingredients, I did nothing but steam the artichokes ahead of time, they took over my whole kitchen and it was great!

Basically you get the biggest pot you could find, add water to it and spice up the water with whole heads of garlic, salt, peppercorns, Old Bay, white wine, lemons, red pepper flakes and onions, being very generous with the amounts! Add your longer cooked vegetables first and then the seafood last, as each component cooks it creates a more intense flavor to the brothy water.

The end result is that every single thing you pick up and eat will be heavily flavored with all those wonderful ingredients, so good! We also had some drawn butter, extra lemons and a remoulade sauce for dipping which took it well over the top!

We ate this in my screened in sun room with all the windows open on a beautiful breezy day, we took our time, talked, and savored every bite! Thank you Jennie and John!

I wonder what we’ll be eating tomarrow?


Braised Artichokes

I know spring is here because I see artichokes popping up all over in the stores. Artichokes happen to be one of my top 5 vegetables that I couldn’t live without! So with that being said, whenever I see them cooked a different way or a new recipe I haven’t tried, I’m all over it!

Such is the case with braising artichokes, would you believe I’ve never actually braised an artichoke before?
I’ve stuffed many in my lifetime with various fillings, I couldn’t put a number on it.

I’ve fried them (don’t do that anymore), grilled them ( so good ), put them in everything you can imagine, salads, omelette’s, quiche, dips, bruschetta, crostini, hummus, salsa, pasta dishes, risotto, pizzas, soup, added alongside meat dishes, marinated, frozen or fresh it doesn’t matter!

I came across this recipe from the book Salt to Taste, and I’m so glad I did, this will now become part of my beloved artichoke repertoire. Great for a buffet or an antipasto table, it tastes best when slightly warm or at room temperature. I used fresh artichokes for this recipe so it took a little time to cut them in quarters and to prep them, but oh so worth it. I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t use frozen instead, I would not recommend marinated.

Here’s the fabulous recipe:
Adapted from Salt to Taste
4 large artichokes quartered with choke out and rubbed with lemon, tender leaves only
2 lemons
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
3 sliced garlic cloves
3 small whole red pepperoncini, or less if you like
1 T. of dried oregano
1 large onion, thick slices
2 small rosemary sprigs
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 T of white wine vinegar, I used fresh lemon juice instead
1/4 cup of chicken broth
Salt and cracked black pepper

After your artichokes are prepped and ready to go, place oil, garlic, pepperoncini and oregano on low in a large deep skillet. Gently warm til garlic is soft about 5 minutes. Add onion, rosemary and cook over low heat until onion is soft. Add wine, vinegar or lemon juice and broth. Bring it to a boil then reduce to a simmer, add the artichokes and cook til tender. Allow to cool, serve warm or room temperature.

The flavors all blend together perfectly and you get a hint of spicy because you never cut the pepperoncini open, you could just place them in at the end the heat will slightly seep out. Garnish with lemon slices.

Imagine this with some good crusty bread for dipping the juice, some imported cheese like provolone, olives and some Italian deli meats, heaven!

Have a great weekend and Buon Appetito!



If you’re a lover of salmon like me, then you have to try this! It’s easy to put together for a mid week meal, and elegant enough to serve for a special dinner party.

Serve this with a nice crisp salad and a cold glass of Pinot Grigio, and you’ve got a match made in heaven!!

The actual stuffing is made with frozen artichoke hearts, that have been defrosted and squeezed of any excess water (Trader Joes has the best!) sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil and sliced into strips, a couple of shallots, a hint of garlic, and some good flavored breadcrumbs, not the kind that’s real fine, something with texture.

Saute in olive oil and butter, the shallots and garlic, add your breadcrumbs till golden and crispy.
Add artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes, mix well.

Take one piece of salmon, seasoned with a little salt and pepper and a good drizzle of olive oil, place a mound of stuffing on top, add a second piece of salmon on top of that, repeat with salt, pepper, olive oil and a little paprika. Line a pan with parchment or tin foil and roast till moist and flaky.

Lemon Caper sauce****
Squeeze fresh lemon and a dash of water into half and half, or cream that has been cooked down till thick, add black pepper and capers.

Lay your salmon on a bed of fresh sauted spinach, and pour the sauce on top, the flavor combinations work great together, hope you give it a try!!

Buon Appetito!