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BACK IN 2008 What's Baba Ganoush, you ask? First, let's just put this out there, that if you like hummus, odds are high that you'll like Baba Ganoush. And if you love hummus but avoid legumes, Baba Ganoush is your new savior, it's like a vegan, low-carb hummus: eggplant substitutes for chickpeas. So what is Baba Ganoush, again? It's a simple purée of grilled or roasted eggplant mixed smooth with garlic, lemon juice, tahini and parsley. It's a healthy Middle Eastern spread or dip that's traditionally served with pita bread but is easy to use up in other ways too. We like it schmeared on burgers!
Before I loved the garlicky, lemony taste of Baba Ganoush, I loved the sound of Baba Ganoush, pronounced [bah-bah gah-NOOSH]. Say it three times, you might love the sound too – but it only takes one taste of baba ganoush to love how it tastes!
ALTERNATE SPELLINGS (These are for you, Word Dancers!) Baba ghanoush; baba bannoujh; baba-ganouj; babaganoush
TAHINI Baba Ganoush calls for tahini, a thick paste of ground sesame seeds. Look for brands that contain only sesame seeds. It comes in a big jar and is expensive so you'll want to be able to use it in something other than Baba Ganoush. The other classic recipes that calls for tahini is hummus, it's a signature ingredient in recipe like mine, Crazy-Smooth Crazy-Good Hummus but also shows up in places like Armenian Tahini Bread. It's not-quite-everyday ingredients like tahini that inspire me to keep up this list of favorite ingredients. Anyone else you know who knows all their best recipes that call for tahini? Useful, eh? :-)
For the record, I don't recommend Trader Joe's Tahini Sauce product, it is not tahini. Since that product launched, Trader Joe's also sells small-ish jars of tahini, it's not bad but I prefer the imported bottles. Tahini should be stored in the refrigerator. Over time, it will separate, just run it through the food processor to reconstitute the tahini.
2017 I adore recipes that stand up to the test of time. This recipe for Baba Ganoush is especially useful because you can grill or roast the eggplant, either one, whichever works better. And then with a few pantry ingredients, it's a matter of adjusting to taste. Next time, I'll use a bit more parsley, the green color is quite pretty!
Baba Ganoush is easy to make thus easy to add to a regular repertoire. In fact, that's what my notes recommend, "Definitely make more often. Easy, easy."
BABA GANOUSH RECIPE
Time to table: 60 minutes
Makes 1 1/4 cups
1 pound (450g) globe eggplant
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Zest & juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons) plus more to taste
4 tablespoons tahini
Parsley to taste
Salt & pepper to taste
GRILL THE EGGPLANT Wash the eggplant but leave it whole. Prick the skin with knife tip in a few places so it won't explode. Grill for about 30 minutes, turning every 7 or 8 minutes. The skin should be blackened. When it's done, the eggplant will start to deflate. Slice off the stem end, let cool until you can handle it. Slice into the eggplant (it'll be a little messy) and scrape the flesh off the skin (a grapefruit spoon works great). Discard the skins and any big swaths of seeds, let the eggplant flesh drain in a colander for 10-15 minutes.
~OR~ ROAST THE EGGPLANT
Heat oven to 400F/200C. Wash the eggplant, prick it with the tines of a fork or the sharp tip of a knife in a few places, then cut in half lengthwise. Lightly oil the flat side and place flat-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes. Scrape the flesh out of the skin (a grapefruit spoon works great), discarding the skin and any seedy swaths. Let eggplant drain in a colander for 10-15 minutes.
MIX In a food processor, mix the eggplant flesh with all the remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Taste and adjust to taste. Serve with pita bread or as a spread for sandwiches.
KEEPS Baba Ganoush keeps for several days in the refrigerator.
ALANNA's TIPS & KITCHEN NOTES
NITPICKING ALTON BROWN (2008) I just now noticed that all of Alton Brown's ingredients seemed double what seemed "right" to my taste. Perhaps this is because he used a two-pound eggplant, even though the recipe didn't say? AB, you're a rock star but some times, details do matter! (2017) I've written the recipe quite specific to my taste but please, do feel free to adjust the ingredients to what tastes good to you!
GLOBE EGGPLANT? Other varieties of eggplant would work just fine, but have a higher proportion of skin:flesh so you'll need to start off with more eggplant. Here's what varieties of eggplant look like.
DRIZZLE WITH HONEY? The inspiring recipe from Alton Brown suggested adding sugar or honey if the baba ganoush tastes slightly bitter. There was no bitterness here but I so loved the idea of honey that after taking the photo, I swirled some in (not mixing it in, leaving it distinct) and – oh swoon – very good!
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from Kitchen Parade
SEASONAL EATING: THIS SAME WEEK ACROSS THE YEARSLeeks & Asparagus Poke Sallet Mashed Rutabagas & Apple Summer Vegetable Stew (< this week's healthy favorite) Swedish Beets Broccoli with Rice Wine & Oyster Sauce Beet Carpaccio Golden Beets with Brussels Sprouts Thousand Island Dressing Bubble & Squeak Baba Ganoush Party Asparagus with Aioli (< this week's favorites!) Asparagus Risotto Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothie (< this week's favorites!) Miss Jennie's Famous Benedictine Spread Greek Spinach-Asparagus-Potato Gratin (Spinaki me Sparaggia Orgraten) (< this week's favorites!) Paleo Carrot Soup Simple Zucchini Ribbon Salad
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