Friday, August 19, 2011

Baba Ganoush

Lately, with all the heat from the Summer, I've been making tons of dips for pita chips and tortilla chips. The dips are usually really healthy and if you make them with whole wheat pita chips, you can totally dig in and eat as much as you want without feeling the least bit guilty.

Which is pretty much my favorite thing these days.

One dip that I love, is baba ganoush. It's kind of like a eggplant hummus because the only difference between the two recipes is that one uses chick peas and one uses eggplant.

Now, I'll confess, I usually highly dislike eggplant. The texture of it just doesn't work for my tastebuds. BUT! in this recipe we're roasting the eggplant and blending it up into smooth creaminess so you don't get that funky texture going on. And y'all, I LOVE me some baba ganoush.

First we need a medium-sized eggplant. But if you have a smaller or larger one that's fine; just adjust the spices you add in later a bit to accommodate. I got mine at the farmer's market then waited a few days to cook it so it wasn't in the prettiest condition. But that's okay. I'm not superficial.

Just set your eggplant on top of a gas burner, turn it on and let the flames do their thing. We're going to char the heck out of the eggplant. Just keep it on the flame, rotating and turning it as needed, for about 5-10 minutes. Just long enough to char the entire outside.

If you don't have a gas stove top, you could certainly do this on a grill.

When it's charred enough, it will have brownish spots and resemble a giant raisin. Place it in a baking dish and bake it at 350 for about 20 minutes, until it's soft all the way through.

When it comes out of the oven, cut it in half and scoop out all of the flesh.

It's not going to look pretty at this point and you'll probably start to question my sanity for telling you to make this.

But then, in a food processor or blender, combine the warm eggplant flesh, sesame seeds, kosher salt, lemon juice, garlic, chili powder and olive oil. Blend until creamy.

And you'll get this lovely savory dip! Yum!

And baba ganoush just really wants to be served up with some pita chips or whole wheat naan.

While it's just fine warm, baba ganoush tastes the best when it's had time to sit in the fridge for several hours or overnight.

I made this for dinner last night with naan and more roasted vegetables from the farmer's market. It was totally a easy, yummy and healthy vegetarian dinner. 

 Baba Ganoush
Serves 4

1 medium-sized eggplant
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1/8 tsp. chili powder
2-3 tbsp. olive oil

Preheat your oven to 350.

Turn on your gas stove top burner to medium-high heat and place the eggplant directly on the flame (or use a grill if you don't have a gas burner). Char the eggplant, rotating and turning it as needed, until the entire eggplant is wrinkly and has brown spots. Place the eggplant in a baking dish and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until the eggplant is soft all the way through.

Cut the eggplant in half and scrape out all the flesh. Place the warm eggplant flesh and the remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend together until creamy.

Refrigerate the baba ganoush for a few hours or overnight to allow the flavors to deepen. Serve with flatbread or pita chips and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Oh how funny! We just made baba ganoush yesterday :) I had it several times when I was in Israel with Tommy this summer and the family we were staying with would "burn" the eggplant over the flame. I figured that was what gave it the great flavor and Mama was really craving some yesterday! The problem is that we only have an electric flat top stove, so we tried putting the whole eggplant on the flat top burner ... it didn't work so well, so then I broiled it for awhile. The dip turned out really good, but I think it might have been better if we'd had the open flame. I really like baba ganoush though ... it's so yummy :) :)


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