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Friday, December 21, 2012

The making of baba ghanouj

My son loves baba ghanouj.  In fact, he loves it even more than I do.  When eggplants come my way, it's the defacto use for them.  Oh, every now and then I'll have a yen for ratatouile or eggplant parmesan, but when I see an eggplant, the first thing that crosses my mind is baba ghanouj.

As i was going through my photos, I came across several taken last summer, documenting this simple but delicious recipe.

Take a few eggplants and roast them in the oven.  I split them in half and pierce the skin a few times to release steam.  I cook them long enough to make them very soft, and at a low enough temperature that I can forget about them for a while, usually somewhere between 250° and 350°, maybe a couple of hours, more or less. 
Roasted eggplant.  The one on the left has been pulped.
 When they're done, I scrape the cooked eggplants from the skin and put it all in the food processor with about 1/4 C Tahini, for every couple of cups of eggplant,
a little salt, 1/8 C of olive oil, 1/8 C lemon juice, and whirr it all together.  Oh, and don't forget the garlic!

I have two garlic presses, one with handles, and this one, The Garlic Twist.  Fast and easy, but not for garlic that has started to sprout.  It's one of my favorite kitchen tools. Smash the garlic to remove the skin (it falls right off), then twist it back and forth a few times, and voilà! Easy peasy.

Chopping the garlic
I change the flavor of the baba ghanouj depending on what I add to it.  Usually, I add basil, sometimes roasted red pepper (Mmmmm!), but this time I added chopped parsley from my garden.  Flat parsley is best, just because it chops more finely, but I think parsley is just a little too bland for my taste.  I ended up adding basil to it.
Ready to dice
All done.  I eat these with pita bread or blue corn chips.  Yum!  By the way, change the eggplant to mashed garbanzo beans, and you hummus.  See?  Two great recipes for the price of one.

The finished product,  Baba Ghanouj.  Could anything be simpler?

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