Paprika--the sultry, red spice that ranges in flavor from sweet caramel to smoky to spicy hot comes from grinding up dried paprika chilies of the pepper family. Origins from Spain, Hungary, and Israel, paprika is often used as a garnish, and to spice soups and stews. Most popularly known as an ingredient in Hungarian Goulash, and the "devil" in some deviled eggs, it can be added to marinades to add color and flavor.
Try this recipe to get a little sassy with paprika:
Vegan Smoky Eggplant Dip with Pine Nuts
2 Eggplants, peeled & cut into 2"cubes
1 Tbsp Salt, plus more to taste
1/4 Cup PLAIN non-dairy yogurt, (Greek Style is best)
2-3 Garlic Cloves, smashed
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Toasted Pine Nuts
(You can use a toaster if you have the mini pan or toast in oven for 10 mins at 350 deg F)
2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
Pepper, to taste
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, put eggplant in with salt. Lower heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes until eggplant is soft. Drain well in colander, pressing to get all excess moisture out.
2. In a food processor, puree eggplant with yogurt, pinch of salt, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil.
3. Place eggplant mixture in medium bowl, and stir in pine nuts and paprika. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Serve with toasted pita wedges, baby carrots, or on crostini.
You can put on some pretty by sprinkling a little paprika on top.
My first real interest in the spice came about recently, at the DC Vegfest watching Isa Chandra Moskowitz do a cooking demo of her Okra Gumbo With Chickpeas And Kidney Beans. She had added smoked paprika to the dish and when I got to sample it, was amazed how smoky it actually was. A whole new Spice Alley had been opened up for me and I was ready to sample more! So of course I ran to Whole Foods and bought all the different types of paprika I could find. (Oh and there are quite a few!)
I decided to make the Okra Gumbo for a little vegan feast I was having for my family. After the typical questions from my mother and aunt about my new vegan lifestyle...oh you've heard them...
What can you eat?
How do you get protien and nutrients?
Doesn't it get boring just eating vegetables?
Isn't it expensive?
I asked them to come over and see for themselves how NOT boring us vegan folk are!
Oh So Smoky...
Escarole Lentil Soup
Braised Red Cabbage
FOR THE ULTIMATE FINALE....
"How Is This Possibly Vegan?! OMG" Chocolate Cake
Yeah! Take that! Oh ye of little faith in the excitement and deliciousness of the vegan diet! That's right! We have our cake AND eat it too!
Huzzah Vegan MoFo!