Eggplant is a mysterious veggie. I often look at them and wonder what to make.
I know they are great fried and in stir-fry. I’ve seen them used in lasagna and other Italian style dishes. But for some reason I just pass them up anyway. When I do buy them they have a somewhat daunting presence in my kitchen. I know I need to cook them but, what to make??? One thing I can say with certainty is I’ve always liked the flavor of baba ganoush, especially the deep smokey flavored ones. If the only way I ever ate eggplant again was as baba ganoush I would probably be pretty happy.
What is baba ganoush, you ask?
Baba ganoush is a simple, thick dip made from roasted eggplants, sesame tahini, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and salt. It originates from the Eastern Mediterranean region and is traditionally served with fresh pita bread. It’s really very easy to make, so give it a go!
You will need:
3-4 Medium Sized Eggplants
1/2 Cup Tahini Paste ( I love this brand)
1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Salt
1/2 Cup Water
2-4 Cloves Fresh Minced Garlic
1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Chives (or Parsley)
1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Paprika
Fire up the charcoal grill! Or even better yet…a campfire!!!
Cooking the eggplants over an open flame produces the best tasting baba ganoush, in my humble opinion.
Alternatively you can bake the eggplants under the broiler in your oven.
Recipe yields about 6 cups of baba ganoush, or, enough to share.
Wash the eggplants and pat them dry. Place them over your fire, grill, or in the oven under the broiler. As the skin starts to blister and burn rotate them until all the sides are fully blackened. By this time the eggplant should be getting tender and releasing steam. Place them in a big bowl and cover the bowl with a plate or lid trapping the steam inside.
In a mixing bowl whisk together the tahini paste, lemon juice, salt and water. The mixture will thicken into a beautiful sauce. Set it aside.
When the eggplant is cool enough to touch remove them from the bowl to your cutting board. Peel the eggplant carefully removing all the burnt skin.
When the eggplant if fully peeled use a sharp knife to mince it into small pieces. Run your knife through the eggplant in multiple directions.
Add the chopped eggplant and the 1/4 cup olive oil to the tahini sauce and stir it well.
Mince the garlic and add it to the eggplant. Finely chop the chives and add them as well. Stir the mixture well. Chill until service.
To serve the baba ganoush fill a bowl with the dip and garnish it with the remaining olive oil, paprika and some fresh chives.
Try my low-carb crackers as an accompaniment.