1/2 eggplant, sliced into 7-9 rounds
1 1/2 - 2 c. unsweetened almond milk
2 - 3 tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp. finely minced fresh garlic
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 c. chunky medium salsa
Smoked paprika and hot sauce, optional
Slice your eggplant into thin rounds just under 1/2 inch (not quite 1/4 inch).
Sprinkle both sides of the flesh with a little sea salt and arrange in a colander to help draw out some of the moisture and bitterness.
Let set for 10-15 minutes.
Then rinse with cool water and thoroughly pat dry between two clean towels.
Preheat oven to high broil and place an oven rack near the top of the oven.
Arrange the dried eggplant rounds on a baking sheet lightly spritzed with non-stick spray and drizzle both sides of the eggplant with a little olive oil.
Sprinkle with a very small amount of salt.
Broil on high for 4-5 minutes on each side, watching carefully as to not let them burn.
Flip at the halfway point to ensure even cooking.
Once the eggplant appears tender and both sides have golden brown color, remove from the oven and wrap loosely in foil to steam.
After a few minutes, unwrap and peel the eggplant skin away. It should come right off.
Place eggplant in a blender with almond milk, nutritional yeast, minced garlic, cumin, chili powder and cornstarch and blend on high until smooth and creamy.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Transfer to a small saucepan and warm over medium to medium-high heat until slightly thickened and bubbly – about 5 minutes.
Once hot, remove from heat and stir in drained salsa.
Pour into a serving dish and top with a little smoked paprika and hot sauce for flavor/color.
Serve with chips, crackers or veggies.