Saturday, September 13, 2014

Smoky Baba Ghanoush

 I first had babaghanoush at a Turkish restaurant, and totally fell in love with it.  
What is it you may ask? 
In a nutshell - roasted eggplant, tahini (a sesame based paste), garlic, lemon juice, salt, parsley, and olive oil.   
 For any of those eggplant haters out there - I'm with you.  My mom made it when I was a kid - hated it.  I tried it several different ways as an adult, and just hated it.  Then I had babbaganoush, and am totally in love - it tastes nothing like eggplant to me this way. 

The babaghanoush gets a smoky flavor from being roasted, as in roasted to a char. 

Lightly spray grill with cooking spray for easy turning. 
Place two medium sized egg plants on the grill (some recipes say poke them, but they fill with steam and cook better without holes).  While they can be roasted on a gas range, or in the oven, a grill really brings out the smoky flavor.  
Grill for 15-20 minutes, and then very carefully turn. Roast an additional 15-20 minutes, until the eggplant is so charred that you are completely sure that it is inedible.  

Remove from grill, wrap in foil and let it steam for 15 minutes.  
Carefully make a lengthwise slit in the eggplant and open.  With a spoon, scrape out all of the flesh from the inside of the eggplant. 

Place flesh into a salad spinner and gently spin to remove excess liquid. 

Place in a bowl, and add three minced garlic cloves, and two Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.  Mix until it becomes creamy. 

Mix in three Tablespoons of tahini then, while mixing, slowly drizzle 1/4 cup olive oil into mixture.  Continue to mix until it is thoroughly incorporated.  
Stir in 1/4 cup chopped parsely. 
Season with 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of salt (to taste).   

Serve with lavas(h), naan, roti, or pita chips/bread, crackers or veggies. 

Smoky Babaghanoush
2 medium sized egg plants
3 Tablespoons tahini
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 minced garlic cloves
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt to taste

Roast egg plant on gas grill for 30-40 minutes, until blackened and charred, turning once.  
Enclose in foil and allow to sit for 15 minutes. 
Carefully scoop out flesh (discard charred bits), and place in a salad spinner, and gently spin to remove excess liquid. 
Place in a medium sized bowl and mix until creamy with lemon juice and garlic. 
Add tahini, and while mixing, slowly drizzle in olive oil.  
Stir in parsley, and add salt to taste. 
Serve with lavas(h), naan, roti, pita chips, veggies, or crackers. 

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