Are you looking for a mouth-watering dip to serve at your next party or to enjoy as an afternoon snack? This eggplant dip recipe is sure to be a hit with anyone who loves bold, earthy, and fresh flavors. Pair it with delicious Crunchmaster crackers, and you’re party-ready! This post is sponsored by Crunchmaster Crackers and contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
My burnt eggplant and spicy harissa dip is an easy-to-make, flavorful spread that pairs perfectly with gluten-free Crunchmaster crackers.
Even though this recipe contains only a handful of fresh ingredients, it boasts a complex flavor. The eggplant adds an earthy sweetness, while the harissa and garlic add bold flavor and spice.
With just a few simple ingredients and minimal preparation time, this tasty dip makes a delicious afternoon snack or a beautiful potluck appetizer.
Spicy Eggplant Dip Ingredients
To make this simple-but-delicious spicy eggplant dip, you’ll need a few key ingredients:
(1) Eggplant: Eggplants, or aubergines, are low in calories and fiber. They’re also a good source of vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants. Eggplants are in season from June to September, making it an ideal time to use the earthy vegetable in a summer recipe.
(2) Harissa: Harissa is a flavorful blend of spices originating from North Africa. It’s made from smoked chiles, cumin, coriander, caraway seeds, garlic, and other spices, which means even a little of it will make your dish extra spicy.
Harissa is sold as a paste or dry spice rub in the U.S. I used the dry spice for this recipe, but feel free to improvise and use harissa paste instead. Just be sure to adjust how much you add to your taste.
(3) Olive Oil: Olive oil adds both flavor and nutritional benefits to this beautiful dip, which helps to balance out the flavors of the garlic, lemon juice, and harissa spice.
Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fats (healthy fats), and it contains antioxidants, which can help protect against cell damage and inflammation.
(4) Garlic: Fresh minced garlic adds a delicious flavor and aroma to this dip and works particularly well with eggplant. When minced, the tiny pieces of garlic release their oils and flavors, infusing the dip with a rich and complex taste.
Garlic also offers numerous health benefits, mainly due to its antibacterial and antiviral properties. These properties can help boost the immune system and protect against infection.
(5) Lemon Juice and Zest: Adding lemon zest and juice to the dip adds a bright and tangy flavor that complements the rich and savory taste of the earthy eggplant and harissa spice.
(6) Kosher Salt: A pinch of salt will bring out the natural sweetness of the eggplant and will help to balance the heat of the harissa.
(7) Crunchmaster Crackers: Don’t forget the Crunchmaster crackers. The crunchy crackers offer the perfect way to dish this dip into your mouth. And the cracker’s bold crunchiness provides a pleasing contrast to the smooth eggplant dip.
Crunchmaster crackers are made with gluten-free, non-GMO, and high-quality ingredients and are my preferred gluten-free cracker brand.
How to Make Spicy Eggplant Dip
Here’s how to make this delicious eggplant and harissa spice dip:
(1) Preheat the oven to broil-high. Use a knife to stab the top of the eggplants three times each. Place the eggplants on a baking sheet in the oven and let them broil for approximately 30 minutes. Turn the eggplants over 2-3 times while they cook.
(2) Once the eggplants are burnt, and the skin is wrinkly, carefully remove them from the oven and allow them to cool on the baking sheet until they can be handled without burning your hands.
(3) Once the eggplant is slightly cooled, remove the top stem, then peel off the skin and discard it. Place the eggplant flesh in a strainer and gently mash it with a fork to remove as much liquid as possible. Discard the liquid.
(4) Add the eggplant to a medium bowl and mix in the olive oil, minced garlic cloves, lemon juice and zest, harissa spice, and a pinch of kosher salt. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for 30 minutes so the flavors meld together.
(5) Add the eggplant to a serving bowl and top with chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil (optional). Enjoy the spicy eggplant dip with Crunchmaster crackers and sliced cucumbers.
This dip is perfect for snacking or entertaining and will surely please everyone’s taste buds.
FAQs and Substitutions
Where Do I Find Harissa Spice? Harissa spice is sold in the spice aisle at your local grocery store. If you can’t find the spice, use harissa paste. Trader Joe’s makes a harissa paste that I like. You can also look for it at the grocery store, wherever Mediterranean foods are sold.
What are Substitutes for Harissa? Harissa adds heat to any dish, so you could instead use siracha, Sambal Oelek, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or chili paste to add heat instead.
How Do I Store Leftovers? Store leftovers in a sealed container in your fridge for up to four days. Mine never lasts that long!
Why Didn’t You Use Tahini? For me, omitting tahini from this dip was a matter of preference. I wanted a fresh, earthy dip vs. a creamy and savory dip. When you add tahini to eggplant, you typically call it baba ganoush vs. eggplant dip.
Enjoy these dips and appetizers:
- Mediterranean Charcuterie Board with Homemade Olive Tapenade
- Spicy Hummus with Crunchy Chickpeas
- Lemon Dill Hummus
- Warm Butternut Squash & Apple Dip
Spicy Eggplant Dip with Harissa Spice and No Tahini
- 2 large eggplants
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil + extra to drizzle on top (optional)
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 lemon zest
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- 1 tsp harissa spice
- Pinch of kosher salt to taste
- 1 Tbsp fresh chopped parsley for topping (optional)
- Set oven to broil-high and line a baking sheet with foil.
- Stab the top of the eggplants with a knife three times each, then place the eggplants on a baking sheet in the hot oven.
- Broil on high for about 30 minutes, turning over the eggplants 2-3 times while they cook.
- Once the eggplants become burnt and the skin is wrinkly, remove the eggplants from the oven and allow them to cool until they can be handled without burning your hands.
- Cut off the stem and peel off the skin. Scrape any eggplant flesh from the sides of the skin and place the eggplant flesh in a strainer. Discard the skin and stem.
- Gently mash the eggplant with a fork inside the strainer to remove as much liquid as possible. Discard the liquid.
- Add the eggplant to a medium bowl, then add the olive oil, garlic cloves, lemon juice and zest, harissa spice, and a pinch of kosher salt.
- Mix the ingredients together and allow them to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes for the best results. The warm eggplant flesh will meld with the other ingredients.
- Enjoy the dip with delicious Crunchmaster crackers as an afternoon snack or fun party dip!