I think I finally mastered the art of baba ghanouj…

2012-08-17 11.44.30If the summer bounty in eggplants is making you wonder how the hell people eat these things, here’s the easiest tastiest thing I know of to do with one. Much less fuss than eggplant parmigiana, though that is also delicious…

So the trick is no more than one tablespoon of tahini per eggplant. That’s enough to give it richness without bitterness, and without completely drowning the delicate sweetness of the eggplant. Did you know eggplant had a flavor? Now you do!

(The chips in the photo are Flamous falafel chips, which are surprisingly addictive.)

This is not so much a recipe as a technique and a ratio.

Take your eggplant(s) and stab each one with a paring knife a few times. Then char it/them, either over a gas flame, under a broiler, or in the coals of your campfire. Use tongs to turn them: your fingers are precious to someone. (Possibly even yourself.)

Hang around while this is happening. Kitchen fires are nobody’s friend, and the smell of charring is a good sign it’s time to flip the thing.

When this is done, pull them out and set them aside to cool. They don’t have to be stone cold, just comfortable to handle. Cut each eggplant in half and use a spoon to scrape the delicious juicy insides into a bowl. Some people like bits of the charred skin left in.

Then add, per each eggplant:

1-3 cloves garlic minced fine, or roasted and squeezed.

Juice of 1/2 lemon or lime (You can toss in the zest, too)

1 scant tbsp tahini

a healthy pinch of cumin

salt to taste (smoked if you have it)

and paprika, ras el hanout, or harissa seasoning, also to taste.

Mash this up, or puree it if you have that technology.

Eat on things, or with a spoon.

(Yes, I’m serving it with pico de gallo. It’s farmshare season: everything comes with pico de gallo.)

Posted: Friday, August 17th, 2012 @ 5:10 pm
Categories: Blog, Cooking and Food.
Tags: , .
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5 Responses to “I think I finally mastered the art of baba ghanouj…”

  1. Paul (@princejvstin) Says:

    I think I’ve had those falafel chips.

    Thanks for the recipe. Yum!

  2. John Murphy Says:

    One nifty trick that I’ve learned (from TV, I think) is to wrap the still-hot eggplants with plastic wrap, let them continue to steam in that as they cool down, then cut the stem end off with scissors and squeeze the pulp out like toothpaste.

    Sadly, the batch I made last weekend (from a couple of gorgeous purple/white-striped Japanese eggplants) was horrendously over-garlicked, and is good only for spreading on sandwiches and wraps. Next time I’ll roast the garlic, too.

  3. Amanda Says:

    I enjoy a good eggplant, but really I need a third level of comment to keep poking this CSS file.

  4. Lesley Says:

    We call eggplant dip (for which I’ve seen many recipes) “poor man’s caviar” here in the UK, because it’s cheap to make but just as delicious :) I don’t know if that phrase is used or familiar in the US?

    (Of course, we also call eggplants “aubergines” – viva la difference!)

  5. matociquala Says:

    I’ve heard various eggplant dishes described with variants of caviar. In the USA, we also have this stuff called “Cowboy Caviar,” which is a salad of sweet corn, black beans, &etc. Both very delicious, but… not quite caviar, alas. And since I’m off caviar for ethical reasons…