I’m a big fan of eggplants – grilled, pickled, sautéed, fried, etc – so it is no surprise that baba ghanoush is a personal favorite. It is simple, delicious, lasts over a week on the fridge and I think you can eat it with just about anything. One of my favorite ways is to use it as a spread in a vegetable sandwich with sautéed spinach and carrot strips. As far as I know, it is traditionally eaten as a dip with warm pita and is banging that way as well.
Makes about 2 cups
1 medium italian eggplant (those big purple mofos)
2 TB EVOO
2 1/2 TB tahini*
Juice of 1 lemon
3 cloves of garlic, minced
dash (or 2) chili powder
1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash eggplant and pierce with fork all over. Use hands to rub with the EVOO, use all of the EVOO to make sure it really gets a good massage. Place on baking sheets and cook for about 30-40 minutes, flipping it over halfway. Cook until softened or until it beginning to char.
Remove from oven and wait until it is cool enough to touch. Pull off the skin. TIP: If you have cooked it enough, most of the skin should peel off in a few big pieces.
Toss the eggplant and all the other ingredients in the blender and puree until smooth. You can eat right away but I think it tastes the best the next day. If preparing for company, make sure you give it at least 30 minutes in the fridge and another 30 to come back to room temperature.
*Tahini is sesame seed paste and can usually be found near the peanut butter. It can be used to make wonderful salad dressing (with balsamic vinegar, EVOO, lemon juice and S&P) and is wonderful in hummus, falafel and other middle eastern dishes.
I have always made this with big purple italian eggplants. I look forward to playing around with other types of eggplants, especially asian varieties.