Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Baba Ghanouj - Eggplant Dip

Baba Ghanouj is a tasty eggplant dip that combines the tastes of eggplant, garlic and sesame for a heady favor. The eggplants taste peppery and the herbs accentuate all the other flavors.

Many people bake the eggplant for this dish, but I like to grill it to amplify the taste. I also like to keep the peel because it tastes good and contains a significant portion of the nutrients of the fruit. As long as you finely puree it, the tastes will blend nicely.

Baba Ghanouj can be enjoyed as a bread dip at a party, or as a side dish for falafel or fava beans. It can also be made into a sandwich with fresh tomatoes for a light lunch.

  • 1 medium sized fresh eggplant
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic
  • 2-3 tablespoons tahini sesame seed sauce. You can buy this now at most grocery stores, or any Middle Eastern food store.
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  1. Thick slice the eggplant, salt and set aside until it sheds its water.
  2. Blot dry the eggplant slices, rub with olive oil and grill. I used an indoor electric grill this time, but it is even better if you can grill it on a wood fire. In the summer I would use the Stone Pony.
  3. Chop the parsley, garlic, and cilantro in the food processor.
  4. Add the eggplants and puree thoroughly. At this point you have a tasty eggplant relish that can be eaten on toast, but keep going, it gets better.
  5. Add spices, tahini, and lemon/lime juice. Puree until smooth.
  6. Serve with bread and cut fresh vegetables such as cucumbers, radishes, celery and carrots.
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