Dip or Pasta Sauce? Eggplant & Sweet Red Pepper Dip

     An abundance of eggplant in the garden led me to Gwyn Johnson’s recipe for an ususual dip that I also sometimes use as a pasta sauce.
     Unlike many dips, it lacks mayonnaise or cream cheese, and is essentially just a mixture of sautéed and simmered vegetables.
     Gwyn shared this recipe when I interview her and her husband, Mike, for my monthly food column in March of 2005. Their recipes are in the subsequent 4th edition of  “Home-Cooking—Dickinson County Style,” Abilene Reflector-Chronicle, available at the Dickinson CountyHeritage Center.

Eggplant & Sweet Red Pepper Dip
 Gwyn serves this as a chilled dip with crackers but it is also good as a pasta sauce.

Cut up . . .
1 lb. eggplant (leave the peel on)
Dip/sauce cooks down and can be mashed with the
back of a spoon.
4 large red bell peppers (1 sometimes use jarred red peppers)

 Sauté vegetables in . . .
1 tablespoon safflower oil (I use olive oil)
1 tablespoon sesame oil

 Add and simmer about 10 minutes .  . .
 1 cup chicken stock or broth
 ½ small dried hot red pepper
 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
 2 tablespoons pale dry sherry 
 1½ teaspoons granulated sugar

Cooked pasta has been added to the sauce for a tasty main or side dish.
Grated Parmesan is a nice topping for the pasta.

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