I am one of those people who sees the word "eggplant" on a menu and I must order it. I just love eggplant. Baked, grilled, breaded, I will take it any which way. Being such a lover of eggplant, I am naturally a Baba Ganoush lover too. Give me a bowl of that smoky eggplant spread and some toasted pita chips and I am a happy girl.
This summer, I made sure to plants several different varieties of eggplants in my garden to fulfill all my eggplant cravings . Currently, I have dozens of eggplants to harvest, and one of my favorite things to make to with all that eggplant is homemade Baba Ganoush. It is one of those things that is so easy to make, there is pretty much no reason to ever buy it in the store. It makes a great appetizer for a dinner party, and you can make it ahead of time and keep it around for a snack. It only gets better the longer it has to marinate.
There aren't too many ingredients in Baba Ganoush, and the ingredients are ones that I typlically have on hand. The tricky part to this recipe is that each time you make this, your eggplants will, without fail, yield slightly different amounts each time. Therefore, the ingredients and measurements are more of a guideline instead of a steadfast rule.
Feel free to experiment with this basic Baba Ganoush recipe. I love to add toppings that enhance it's flavor, and make it pretty. Toasted pine nuts are a great addition, seseame seeds, red pepper flakes, cucumbers. Also, be sure to serve it next to some toasted pita, crackers, or any vegetables you have available.
Enjoy! —Jodi Moreno
approximately 1 1/2 cups of dip
medium sized eggplants (I used graffiti eggplant)
lemon juice + the zest of 1/2 of a lemon
Place the wire rack in your oven close to the boiler, and pre-heat the broiler on its highest setting. Score the eggplants all around and then place them on a baking sheet directly under the broiler. Broil the eggplants for about 45 minutes - 1 hour, turning over half way through. You want them to be totally charred on the outside, and soft on the inside. When they are done, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.
Once the eggplant has cooled, open them up and scoop out the insides into a colander using a spoon. Allow some of the water to drain and then transfer to a bowl.
Mix the eggplant with the lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, garlic, salt, and pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste. Garnish with herbs and toasted pine nuts or sesame seeds, and serve with pita chips or crudités.
Jodi Moreno is a Natural Foods Chef, Photographer, and creator of the blog What’s Cooking Good Looking where she shares her healthy, clean, seasonal recipes and photographs. She’s passionate about showing people that vegetables can play a main role on the plate.