Monday, September 22, 2008

baba ga 'wha?!?

what exactly is baba ganoush? - a question often asked by wary eaters, befuddled by the dish's middle eastern mystique.


baba ganoush = eggplant dip !!

-- and it's delicious. it also incredibly HEALTHY and remarkably easy to make. there is no one way to prepare this dish; some cooks grill the eggplant over an open flame, some char it under the broiler, and some bake it in the oven. some recipes involve salting the eggplant prior to cooking, some scoop out the seeds, some leave them in...i think you get the point.

i've tried many different methods and what i've got here is a recipe that works. it's easy enough to do in your own home (no outdoor grills required!) yet authentic enough to sell it on steinway street.

Baba Ganoush
yields 1 pt

3 lbs eggplant, medium sized
3 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup tahini paste *
1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1-2 lemons, juiced to taste
½ cup olive oil

salt to taste

1 cup chopped italian parsley
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

-- ingredients in BOLD are mandatory, everything else just sweetens the deal

preheat oven to 400 degrees

  1. set one of your stove burners to high. “roast” the eggplant over the open flame until it is fully blackened and blistered, this imparts a delicious smoky flavor – tite
  2. prick the eggplant with a fork on all sides, rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. bake eggplant in the oven until tender; 45 mins – 1 hr.
  3. allow the eggplant to cool slightly, then peel away the skin and discard. cut the eggplant in half and scoop out most of the seeds (a few remaining is OK). rough chop the eggplant’s flesh and squeeze out any excess moisture.

  1. place all the ingredients EXCEPT the fresh herbs into a food processor and blend until smooth. fold in the fresh herbs.

serve with a sprinkle of paprika and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

* tahini is a sesame paste that can be found in any well-stocked super market. it is also used in hummus.

© 2008 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable" -

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