Baba Ghanoush. One of those things people seem to keep asking me if I’ve had before. Now, instead of saying, “Babawho?” I can say, “Why yes indeed I’ve had it and it is in fact delicious!” For the record, you don’t have to love eggplant to love this dish, ok?
Get a fresh eggplant and poke it all over the place with a fork. Put it either on a grill or under the broiler in your oven, turning it about every 5 minutes or so. After about 30 minutes, the eggplant should be charred- totally black- you’re trying to burn it. You won’t be using that part, don’t worry. When you cut it open it should look nasty like this….
Once it’s cool enough to handle, scrape out the guts into a bowl and using a fork, mash it up really well.
Add a tablespoon or two of olive oil, about 2-3 cloves of finely chopped garlic, juice from 1/2 lemon, a handful of chopped fresh parsley, a nice pinch of salt and a few tablespoons of tahini. Tahini is that stuff we made hummus with- you can find it by the peanut butter in the better grocery stores. It’s a bit expensive for a big jar but it’ll last you forever so it’s worth it.
Mix it up well till it starts to smooth out. Here’s the important part though- taste it first before you move on. It needs a decent amount of salt to really bring out the flavors. Add more of whatever you want! I’m a huge fresh garlic & parsley fan so I added quite a bit to mine.
Now listen, if you’re not already in love with eggplant, I recommend not judging it until you let it refrigerate overnight. I actually was not a huge fan after I tasted it immediately but wow, after I let it chill overnight I fell in love with it.
Serve it with toasted bread or try one of my new tricks. If you have a flour OR corn tortilla, put it in the toaster oven for a whole toasting cycle, making sure it doesn’t burn. The flour ones get all nice and crunchy, perfect for dipping, while the corn ones get all big and bloated and cool. Or do what my roommate did and spread it all up on the toasted tortilla! We also noted that it would taste good on a sandwich instead of mayo. ((By the way, this was her first baba ghanoush experience. The next day she went out to buy 2 eggplants so we could make more!))
Eggplant – $1.79
Handful of fresh parsley – $.15
A few tablespoons of tahini – ~$.20
1/2 lemon – $.18
About 8 appetizer servings – ~$2.32
1 serving – $.29