Makes 1- to 1-1/2 cups.
1 large eggplant, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large red onion, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large red bell pepper, trimmed, seeded, cut into 1-inch pieces
5 large garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, for sprinkling
Olive oil, up to 1/2 cup
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sweet or hot pimentón (smoked paprika), whichever you prefer
1/8 tsp mild red pepper flakes
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
Additional kosher salt and fresh black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Place the eggplant, onion, red bell pepper and garlic cloves on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and the olive oil. With your hands, toss everything together, and spread the vegetables so they are in a single layer.
Roast the vegetables at 400F for 45 minutes. Everything should be soft but not mushy, and slightly browned but not crisp.
Remove the pan from the oven, and transfer the vegetables to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add the cumin, pimentón, red pepper flakes and fresh parsley, and pulse until the mixture is a consistency you like. I like mine chunky but spreadable; if you want a smoother purée, keep pulsing.
Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. If you're planning to serve the spread cold, you'll want to add some salt now, and then taste again before serving as it might need additional salt and pepper.