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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Trader Joe's Eggplant Garlic Spread with Sweet Red Peppers

 As you may have heard on our last podcast, the spreads shelf is one I commonly ignore at Trader Joe's. It's not out of any ill's just I'm much more apt to go for some salsa or hummus before checking there for a spready snack. So when given the challenge to find something I've never tried, it was kinda an easy call to scope out that section.

What's not as easy is to discern my opinion on Trader Joe's Eggplant Garlic Spread with Sweet Red Peppers. I...really don't have much of one. But I have a couple thoughts. Listen, I'm not gonna dock something just because it's not in my usual gustatory wheelhouse. But when something just kinda tastes like cold, wet, stringy veggie mush, without much else, I'm gonna call it as I see it. That's the case here. There's maybe a little red pepper or tomato sweetness, but not garlic or anything else to really add any dimension. I mean, "garlic" is right in the product name, I should be able to taste it!

Sandy's not huge on it either. But we're both not against the eggplant spread...there could be some very good redeeming qualities that we're just ignorant enough to overlook...and we're all for healthy snacks and appetizers and whatnot. We'd both eat this if served at a party or if we were invited somewhere. But to buy it for ourselves? Nah, probably not again, even though it's just a couple bucks. "Meh" is exactly how we feel, so a meh score is exactly what it's gonna get.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Eggplant Garlic Spread with Sweet Red Peppers: 4 out of 10 Golden Spoons


  1. I have an opened jar in my fridge that I bought awhile back... ask me when and I can't tell u when.....not memorable.. btw, I found it displayed above the shelf along the frozen aisle... guess what-- its no longer there.. found back on the aisle w/other jars of concoctions

  2. I don't like tomato based sauces for my pizzas. So sometimes I use this eggplant spread. An excellent quick meal is come of this on a pita, with olive tapenade, some sundried toatoes in oil, a bit of fresh basil, Parmesan and mozzarella. Yummy little pizzas :-) I don't think I would like this stuff at all as-is.

  3. I agree. I bought this about two or more weeks ago and it remains barely touched in my refrigerator. I thought maybe I was misjudging it since I kind of overlooked the eggplant part and was expecting it to be more of a sweet red pepper sauce. I agree with Wendy above that it's at its best when used in conjunction with some other things that help to boost (or hide) its flavor.

  4. Hi! I just found your blog today and am looking forward to reading it. As for the eggplant garlic spread, I LOVE it!. Here is what I do with it: Paninis. I take TJs Panne Tuscan, and top it with goat cheese and the eggplant garlic spread. Cook it in a pan with olive oil and a heavy pan on top. It quite yummy. The spread is also good on their foccacia.

  5. As a dip it's weird and doesn't work for me either.
    But! It's great on pasta.

  6. This is one of my favorite things at TJs. I LOVE it and can eat a jar in one sitting. I am now looking for recipes to make it at home.

    1. Me too, I LOVE this stuff. I like it on my homemade version of Starbucks' spinach egg white wrap. I also enjoy a bit of it with avocado toast--so very 2017, but oh so good.

  7. A jar of this sauce, cooked lentils, chicken broth, shredded chicken, a chipotle chile, and chimichurri rice make for an awesome soup. In fact, it’s a TJs recipe.

  8. I agree, not by itself - I think it does add a very good flavor to soups (like minestrone, for example) and I mix it with the Garlic Spread & Dip to have with veggies. In fact, I mix all kinds of things with the Garlic Spread & Dip - my favorite being the intensely green cilantro based sauce (name of which I can't recall - Middle Eastern, I think).