I first tasted this special dip, of all places, at a breakfast buffet at a hotel in Sofia, Bulgaria. With my Hungarian grandmother famous for her less-than inspiring cooking from the region, who could have guessed a simple hotel buffet would change my world culinary outlook for ever. Three distinctly Bulgarian foods at one sitting changed everything: kyopolou, the transformative Bulgarian yogurt, and sirene (Bulgarian feta).
Kyopolou – Eggplant Pepper Spread
- Food Processor or blender
- Rimmed baking sheet
- 2 lb Eggplants, halved lengthwise
- 2 large Green or red bell peppers, cored and halved lengthwise
- 3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Ripe Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped (or 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained)
- 3 tbsp Fresh parsley leaves, chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic, crushed
- 3 tbsp Red wine vinegar
- ¾ tsp Salt
- Roast and Peel Vegetables – Broil eggplant and peppers, skin-side up, until blistered and blackened. Transfer to a bowl, cover and steam for 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove skin.
- Process Vegetables – Puree eggplant, garlic, and peppers in a food processor until smooth. Drizzle in olive oil with engine running.
- Assemble – Transfer mixture to a bowl and thoroughly mix in remaining ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature with warm pita or another bread for spreading, as a side to grilled meat, or piled on a hamburger.
- Leftovers can be refrigerated for 3-4 days.
- Jarred roasted red peppers make a great substitute.