Baba Ganoush

When we lived in Jersey City, we would often go down to our neighborhood Turkish restaurant for Turkish tea and baklava….basically an alternative to going to our favorite cafes since they closed pretty early during the week. Sometimes we would also grab “mezze”, their appetizers of various dips and pita bread. Baba Ganoush is one of my husband’s favorites and David Lebovitz, author of one of my favorite food blogs, has a fantastic recipe. Since his includes ready made tahini, below is a recipe for homemade, which can last several months in the fridge. The only difference I made to his recipe was leaving cilantro out as an alternative to parsley. I’m definitely predisposed to disliking it! Smells like bugs!

Tahini

  • 2 cups sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Spread the sesame seeds on a shallow baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes. Shake the pan frequently to prevent any browning.

Remove from the oven. Once cool, place the seeds in a food processor and add the vegetable oil. Process until smooth, about 5 minutes. If necessary, add more oil to give it the right consistency.

Tahini will last a few months if stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Baba Ganoush

  • 3 medium-sized eggplants
  • 1/2 cup (130g) tahini
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/8 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • a half bunch picked flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).

Prick each eggplant a few times, then char the outside of the eggplants by placing them directly on the flame of a gas burner and as the skin chars, turn them until the eggplants are uniformly-charred on the outside. (If you don’t have a gas stove, you can char them under the broiler. If not, skip to the next step.)

Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until they’re completely soft; you should be able to easily poke a paring knife into them and meet no resistance. Remove from oven and let cool.

Split the eggplant and scrape out the pulp. Puree the pulp in a blender or food processor with the other ingredients until smooth.

Taste, and season with additional salt and lemon juice, if necessary. Serve drizzle with olive oil, perhaps some herbs and with crackers, sliced baguette, or toasted pita chips for dipping.

Storage: Baba Ganoush can be made and refrigerated for up to five days prior to serving.

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