by Cat, July 2008 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
Links to my old site: Middle-Eastern Meza
I first had this wonderful dip at a Lebanese restaurant in Portland, called Al Amir. It was served as part of a Meza, which is a grouping of appetizers to make a meal – a Middle Eastern Smorgasbord (but with distinctly different flavors than a Danish Smorgasbord).
Baba Ghanoush (Baba Ghanouj)
Dede Med (1) has a great YouTube video on how to make this delicious dish, similar to hummus, but made with eggplant instead of garbanzos. The recipe I present here is an adaptation of her recipe, and of one in The Vegetarian Epicure Book Two, by Anna Thomas (2).
Taratour Sauce is a tangy sesame tahini (sesame butter); lemon juice and garlic add the tanginess. Or you can use plain sesame tahini and increase the amount of garlic and lemon juice in the Baba Ghanoush. I prefer the lesser amount of Taratour (or tahini), so I can taste the eggplant.
- 1 medium eggplant (1 lb)
- 2 – 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp Unrefined sea salt, or more to taste
- 4 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 – 4 Tbsp Taratour Sauce or plain sesame tahini
- extra virgin olive oil
- chopped flat leaf parsley or cilantro leaves
- plastic bag
- mortar and pestle
- fork or blender
- shallow serving plate
- wooden spoon
- Preheat oven to 4000 F.
- Place whole eggplant directly on rack in oven (don’t use foil or a pan–the eggplant would get soggy; but you can cover bottom of oven with foil). Roast for one hour.
- Remove from oven and place in plastic bag (or wrap in waxed paper); close bag and let rest on counter about 20 minutes. Don’t let it rest too long or it will be more difficult to peel.
- Remove peel from eggplant (simply pull it off), and discard. Place eggplant pulp, with seeds, in a bowl and break up with a knife.
- Mince garlic, sprinkle salt over, and mash with side of wide knife blade. Add to eggplant, along with lemon juice and Taratour sauce. NOTE: If using tahini instead of Taratour sauce, increase lemon juice to 5 – 6 Tbsp, and garlic to 3 cloves.
- If you want texture to your baba ghanoush blend with a fork, breaking up stubborn chunks with pestle; if you want it smooth, use a blender. Adjust seasoning.
How to Serve, with Garnish
- Scoop onto a plate. Using the back side of a wooden spoon, and working in a circular motion around the plate, spread the baba ghanoush. This motion creates a circular ditch in the baba ghanoush around a mound in the center of the plate.
- Pile chopped parsley or cilantro on the center mound. Sprinkle paprika around the outer ridge. Pour olive oil into the ditch.
- Serve chilled, or at room temperature, with pita or crackers.
- DedeMed recipe & video: dedemed.com/mediterranean/baba-ganoush-recipe
- The Vegetarian Epicure Book Two, by Anna Thomas