Weekend warriors! It’s Saturday! What’s the good word?
We have a whole lot of nothing planned this weekend and I just couldn’t be more thrilled about it. The weather here in MN is feeling a bit crisp and fall like-so as you can imagine, I intend on a cozy cup of coffee this morning with my husband who is [finally] back in town and a couple of kids running around in jammies until we decide what random Saturday adventure we would like to partake in. Man, my kind of day.
But first, before all of that goodness begins, I must pass this recipe on to you. Eggplant galore? Is it happening to you? Do this…make this…please!
Baba Ghanouj. One of my very very favorite Middle Eastern dishes to date. Think hummus, minus the chickpeas and with a smoother, creamier (yes, I said it the C word!) taste and texture. If you think you dislike eggplant, think again, you guys. This dish will turn that sassy little eggplant hating attitude right around.
It’s a dip. A spread. A landing pad for veggies, pita chips/bread or a perfect addition to any sandwich under the sun. And man it tastes so stinking yummy. The rich-smooth-light-tart-garlicky kind of yummy. Dipping at it’s absolute best.
Icing on the Ghanouj? It’s about the most simple thing ever to create. Simply grill or broil a whole eggplant until the skins are charred, like this
And slide the charred skins off with your hands. Puree the eggplant with garlic, salt, tahini, lemon and cumin and that is it. Thats it! This stuff will stay good in the fridge for at least 4 days (a double batch doesn’t even last that long around here because it is devoured so quickly). Having it on hand makes for awesome snacks, quick lunches and last-minute-company appetizers. The jack of all dips, my friends!
So hey, its Saturday. Head to your local farmers market and pick up some of that gorgeous eggplant thats all around right now…this is the perfect day to get in the kitchen and whip up a batch of Baba Ghanouj for the week ahead. Go get em, guys…and enjoy your weekends to the max! xo
notes: tahini is Middle Eastern sesame paste and is available in most supermarkets in the international section. I always find that specialty Mediterranean stores always carry the best quality, but use your favorite brand.
1 Large Eggplant (1-1 1/2 lbs)
1 Garlic Clove
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/4 Cup Tahini *see note above
3-4 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
Olive Oil, for garnish
Parsley, for garnish
Preheat grill over high heat. Place eggplant on the grill and cook for approximately 15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, or until skin is very charred. Remove from grill and cool until you are able to handle it with your hands. Peel the skin and stem off of the eggplant and discard.
Add garlic and salt to a bowl of a food processor and process 30 seconds. Add tahini and process for 3o more seconds. Add eggplant, 3 tablespoons lemon juice and cumin and process until smooth and well combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Taste and add salt as needed, and an extra tablespoon of lemon juice if you like it extra tart. Serve chilled or at room temperature and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parsley before serving.
adapted from this recipe Gourmet, September 2000