The best roasted vegetable spread with eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. Perfect as a dip on the vegan appetizer platter, as a spread on little tea sandwiches, morning toast, bagels or as a smoky pasta sauce.
Rinse the eggplants and pierce them with a knife in a few spots. Roast them together with the bell peppers under the broiler flames until charred on all sides. Flip them around a few times, then transfer to a bowl. Cover with a lid until cool enough to handle.
Peel the charred skins from the peppers, discard the seeds then core and chop up the flesh. (You can puree them in a food processor too)
Scoop the flesh from inside the roasted eggplants and mix together with the roasted peppers. Set aside until needed.
Meanwhile in a heavy bottom pot saute the onion with a pinch of sea salt, pepper flakes and a splash of water until translucent. Stir in the garlic and the tomatoes breaking them up with a flat wooden spoon.
Stir in the roasted pepper, eggplant, smoked paprika and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Partially cover with a lid and cook down until most of the juices from the tomatoes have cooked down into a thick spread, about 35 minutes or so.
Add the chopped parsley and season to taste with more sea salt and extra pepper flakes. (At this point you can use a potato masher for a smoother consistency If you prefer, I like the rustic texture of the sauce.)
Refrigerate until chilled to serve as a spread or toss with whole wheat noodles or in a cold pasta salad.
note: If you insist on using olive oil in your spread, then just make sure to use a cold pressed variety that you add at the very end after the sauce has been cooked.