Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Baba


Babaghanoush (I say baba, more fun to say) is a roasted eggplant dip. You are supposed to roast a whole eggplant over open flame, wait for it to cool, then peel and mash/process it with lemon, garlic, and tahini. The roasting a whole eggplant step can lead to burned fingers from molten juices, bits of bitter uncooperative skin that sticks to the eggplant flesh, and an hour or two. I say off with the skin before roasting, and slice the eggplant for faster cooking. Another cheat, I add a can of chickpeas to extend the volume. More baba, more party.

My Babaghanoush

2 medium eggplants
2 tblsp olive oil
salt & pepper
1 tblsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
juice of 1-2 medium lemons
3 cloves of garlic
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 can of chickpeas, strained
1/4 tsp salt, more to taste
1/2 cup olive oil, more to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel eggplants with a knife or sturdy vegetable peeler. Cut slices 1/2 inch thick. Spread in one layer over a large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes until soft, and a little brown. Remove from oven, and place eggplant slices in food processor with tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cayenne, chickpeas, and salt. Process for 1-2 minutes until eggplant has broken down. Open food processor and stir, scraping sides and bottom. Process again incororating oil in a thin stream until babaghanous is lightly textured. If the eggplant is too thick (like old oatmeal) add water in 1/4 cups until it is the thickness of yogurt.

Roasting eggplant slices on my trusty baking sheet.

Serve warm with pita and slices of radish or cucumber. I like to form a swirly well with back of a spoon to be filled with olive oil. The olive oil prevents the top from drying out, and makes the baba more tasty. I also garnish with an olive and a sprinkle of sumac powder, but paprika is an attractive substitute for sumac.

Thanks to Food2.com for posting this recipe.

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