Sunday, July 3, 2011

Baba Ghanoush

    My roommate's dad blessed me with two beautiful eggplants grown in his very own garden. For some reason, baba ghanoush was the first dish that popped into my mind. Perhaps, I had my Pop, a World War II Veteran, in the back of my mind, as this is a Lebanese dish and he & my Nana lived there for a time. On that note, thank you Pop and all who served and are serving our nation...God bless America.

Simply beautiful...Thank you, Mr. Cortez!
Baba Ghanoush...traditionally served with warm flatbread or crackers...

Your Ingredient Needs:

2 small or 1 large eggplant, halved lengthwise, roasted
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Pinch of Sea Salt
Few dashes of Black Pepper
2 cloves of unpeeled garlic, roasted with eggplant
2 heaping Tbsp sesame tahini
Juice of 1 lemon, about 2 Tbsp
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
Dash of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely minced
Olive oil for garnish, drizzled

Directions for making your baba ghanoush:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the eggplant(s) in half lengthwise and brush lightly with olive oil, pinch of salt, and dash of black pepper. Place eggplant cut side down on a baking sheet. Use a fork to poke several holes in the skin of the eggplant. Roast until very tender, about 30 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of roasting, place garlic cloves (unpeeled) on the baking sheet. Once eggplant is tender, let cool, then scoop out the eggplant pulp and place into food processor or blender with peeled garlic cloves.
2. Pulse together the roasted eggplant pulp, roasted garlic, sesame tahini, lemon juice, cumin, sea salt, smoked paprika, and cayenne pepper. Pulsing will allow for a chunky texture, while blending will produce a smooth texture. It's up to you how you like it! Taste for additional seasoning.
3. Place in a decorative bowl and gently fold in fresh parsley. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with warm pita bread or grilled vegetables.

     I plan on enjoying this with freshly grilled flat bread & vegetable kabobs for July 4th! Enjoy!

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