You might have noticed a lovely little side in the photos of one of my previous posts (Valentine’s Dinner, hint hint). I am not entirely sure why I didn’t bring it up before. Perhaps I felt it didn’t vibe with the theme of the post. Perhaps I like to keep you in suspense, drag you to the edge of your seat where you lie teetering on the cusp of a new horizon. Perhaps I was just feeling lazy. Ahhh, methinks we’ve breached the outskirts of the truth with that last one, eh?
Yes yes, it took me a little while, but here, my friends, let me introduce you to my first attempt at the most delicious side dish my eggplant-loving palette has ever known—Baba Ghanoush! (Admit it, the hyperbole reels you in further doesn’t it? Stop drooling over your keyboard though, please, it’s not hygienic).
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Less than ¼ cup Tahini (sesame seed paste)
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 2 tsp chopped parsley
- Olive oil
I simply winged it this time around, only knowing a general idea of the ingredients. I’m rather interested in exploring different variations and tastes later on, but for now I kept it relatively straightforward and traditional. In retrospect, I would use less Tahini in proportion to the eggplant because it was only slightly too thick. However, the flavors did all come through, and the eggplant was complemented quite profoundly by the lemon and spices.
Anyhoo, either roast an eggplant in the oven (broiler) or char it over a flame (of a gas stove top for example) until the skin is all charred and smoky, and the eggplant is softened entirely, just moist and dripping with taste. I love doing it over the flame, but I haven’t perfected the art of that without making a huge mess. So, unless you got madman skills, or you have no problem scrubbing your stove, you may want to stick to broiling it.
Remove from heat, and once it has cooled sufficiently, peel off the skin and cut the stem off. Then coarsely chop it up fiercely and mix it in a bowl with the other ingredients and a light drizzle of olive oil, maybe 1-2 tbsp.
Depending on what consistency you like, you can either just mix it vigorously so the eggplant is still semi chunky (even though it should be perfectly cooked through and mushy in the most savory way), or you can put it in a food processor and blend thoroughly so you have a beautiful blend of baba ghanoush! Garnish with a few sprigs of mint and pat yourself on the back for channeling your gourmet guru.
Either way, serve with some soft pita bread, pita chips, or just dollop as a nice sandwich spread (Ohhh those veggie delight sandwiches at Subway could fare so much better with a touch of this).
Munch away, my friends.