Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Baba Ganoush

I decided to work from home this morning because I want to share this with you. I want you to know that I really like Middle Eastern food. Give me a platter of hummus, baba ganoush, cucumber salad, kebabs, rice with vermicelli, and the delectable banana pudding with honey and pistachios from Layla's in Old Town Alexandria (which is really amazing because I normally loathe anything with bananas), and I lose all self control. Even when you can clearly see my stomach expanding, I can't stop myself. It's just. That. Good.

If you've never had baba ganoush before, it's kind of like hummus but made from eggplant rather than chickpeas. The texture isn't quite as smooth as hummus, but the flavor is rich and almost smokey tasting (from roasting the eggplant into submission). You can adjust the salt, lemon, and even tahini content to your preference, but I do have a word of caution about the lemon. If you have an exceptionally juicy lemon, do not add the juice all at once. If you put too much lemon juice in your puree, it just might end up tasting like a lemon tart mixed with eggplant. Blech. It's possible that I'm giving you this advice because I might have done this myself at some point. Possibly. Not that I'm admitting anything. Anyway, the point is just be careful. Taste as you go and when you reach a flavor you like, grab some pitas or carrot sticks and enjoy.

Baba Ganoush (Eggplant and Tahini)
Recipe adapted from Arabesque: A Taste of Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon
Pictures by Kelly

2 large eggplants
3 tablespoons tahini
juice of 1 lemon
3/4 to 4/5 cup strained Greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
salt, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)

  1. Prick the eggplans in a few places with a knife to prevent them from exploding. Place them on a sheet of foil on an oven tray and roast them at 450 degrees F for about 45 minutes or until the skins are wrinkled and they are very soft.
  2. When cool enough to handle, peel and drop them into a strainer or colander. Press out as much of the water and juice as possible. Still in the colander, chop the flesh with a knife, then mash with a fork, letting the juices escape through the holes.
  3. In a small bowl, beat the tahini with the lemon juice (the tahini stiffens at first then softens), then beat in the yogurt. Pour into a blender or food processor  and add the mashed eggplant, garlic to taste, and some salt. Pulse until mixture is mostly smooth.
  4. Scrape the puree into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkling of parsley. 


AdvergirlOnFire said...

I'm actually enjoying a little broiled eggplant with homemade tzatziki for lunch today - like reverse baba ganoush almost! I haven't loved store-bought baba ganoush, so I will have to try this route on for size!

Kristi said...

Yum...that actually sounds good. Will the eggplant really explode if you don't poke it?

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