Sunday, December 23, 2007

Baba Ghanoush

I bought an eggplant the other day, and had to do something with it before it went bad. My eggplant repertoire is lacking, so I wanted to try something I hadn't made before. baba ghanoush was perfect for today, because while the eggplant was baking I was able to do some of the many other things that need done around the house.

The first time that I remember eating baba ghanoush is at a Mediterranean restaurant in the town I grew up in. It was a fairly small town, so having a place you could get falafel and spanikopita and hummus and baba ghanoush was pretty special. Angele made the best everything, including baba ghanoush. (I waited tables there for awhile, so I may be biased.) This however was my first attempt to make it myself, and I found myself somewhat intimidated.

There was no reason to worry, because this was so easy. The Eggplant went in the oven at 425 degrees until it was falling in on itself, and it's skin was just starting to blacken in spots. (This helps give it a smokier flavor.)

Baked Eggplant on the Operating Table

Then I peeled off the skin with my fingers, and plopped the gooey flesh into the food processor. A couple cloves of garlic, some tahini, lemon juice and salt, and that was it. I just adjusted everything until it tasted right to me.

We ate it with carrots, lettuce, tomato slices, and wheat toast (pita would be more traditional). I also whipped up some pseudo-falafel from a box. Pseudo because it looks and tastes nothing like homemade falafel, but is still quite good with a lot of tahini sauce and all the other fixins. For tahini sauce, just mix a couple tablespoons of tahini with some lemon juice, salt, and enough water to thin it to your liking. This meal was so good, next time I will make at least twice as much baba ghanoush. (And I will try my hand at falafel from scratch...stay tuned.)

With olive oil and paprika

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