Eggplant was the abundant ‘on sale’ item in the fridge today. I had bought two varieties at the Farmers’ Market but had yet to come up with a plan.
While fresh picked eggplant is one of the most beautiful fruits of the garden, once cooked….is not always as good looking. I did a quick Internet search for ‘pretty images’ of eggplant recipes and came across several for Baba Ghanoush. I’d heard of it, maybe even enjoyed it in a restaurant, but certainly had not made it from scratch. I decided to try the recipe by The Pioneer Woman and only adjusted it slightly to taste as she suggested.
The star ingredient is obviously the eggplant and the key to making her a headliner is roasting her whole. The choice was the grill or under the broiler, we went with the broiler. Most important step: take a fork and prick the skin of each eggplant at least 10 times on both sides. This allows the steam to escape while it’s cooking. Roast on high about 4-6″ from broiler. This where we underestimated the patience and length of time it would take to complete this dish. Baba Ghanoush for our appetizer….nope, more like late dinner. Plan on an hour at least….but know it is worth every minute! So before we even talk about the other ingredients, get these babies under the broiler.
Ingredients…. Eggplant, Tahini (sesame paste found in a jar in the International isle of the super market), minced garlic, lemon juice, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, fresh chopped parsley, dash of cumin, sea salt to taste.
At first I checked on the eggplants about every 2-3 minutes, turning them over with thongs each time. Note: I have never put something under the broiler that didn’t go from zero to 60 in 10 seconds flat and I know you know what I’m talking about. Apparently the skin of an eggplant can withstand some heat because it took quite a while before any bubbling black skin appeared. Eventually I got up the courage to leave them unchecked for 5-7 minutes at a time, again turning them at each check point. Even when they seemed “done enough” I remembered the advice of Pioneer Woman and let them go another round. You want them completely charred.
Once there, remove them from the oven, let cool slightly before going in. To remove the roasted eggplant buttery goodness cut them in half and scoop out insides with a spoon. Discard skins. Put eggplant flesh in a medium bowl and mash with a fork. Combine with all other ingredients until well blended and season with salt to taste. Don’t be afraid of the salt, we found it took a good bit to bring all the flavors together. Serve with pita bread or chips. If you like Hummus you will love this Mediterranean dip. Next time I’ll just make it ahead.
The incredible flavors of this dish made it a must-post, however apologizies for the barely ‘pretty’ picture of the end result. By the time the roasting was complete we had lost our natural light and consumed several cocktails. Making Baba Ghanoush the perfect dinner!!
- 3 medium eggplant
- 3 Tbl. Tahini (sesame paste found in a jar in the International isle of the super market)
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3 Tbl. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Tbl. fresh chopped parsley
- dash of cumin
- sea salt to taste
- Most important step: take a fork and prick the skin of each eggplant at least 10 times on both sides. This allows the steam to escape while it's cooking.
- Roast on high about 4-6" from broiler.
- Turn eggplant every 5 minutes until completely charred. This will take 45 - 60 minutes.
- Remove them from the oven, let cool slightly.
- Then cut in half and scoop out insides with a spoon.
- Discard skins.
- Put eggplant flesh in a medium bowl and mash with a fork.
- Combine with all other ingredients until well blended and season with salt to taste.
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