Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ba-ba-ba...baba ganoush!

I very rarely make meal plans. My cooking tends to be more craving-based.  Either something I'm yearning for or something I want to try making because a key ingredient caught my attention at the supermarket.  Both of those statements hold true for this post.

I was craving baba ganoush the other day. For those of you who are unfamiliar, it's a very common Middle-Eastern roasted eggplant spread.  It's savoury, garlicky, rich and delicious and is the perfect summer dip.  It also happens to be vegan-friendly for those who do not partake in dairy (don't look at me...I'm a cheese-a-holic). I was also intrigued by some absolutely exquisite-looking eggplants that were practically begging me to take them home.  And I needed a good challenge. My experience cooking with eggplant is limited.

After some quick online research and recipe comparing, I came up with this one.  And OH.MY.GOD. It blew me away (and that's not just the garlic talking).  I think I'm in love.  Although next time I think I'll roast the garlic first (roasted-garlic-junkie-I-am).

I'll be trotting this one out at the next party for sure.

Enjoy!

Baba Ganoush (Roasted Eggplant Spread)

Ingredients:

2 large eggplants
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (juice of 1 1/2 lemons)
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Lightly grease a baking sheet.

2. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise and place on baking sheet, cut side down. Poke holes in skin with a fork.  Roast for 30-40 minutes or until soft.  Remove from oven, and place in a large bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process.  Remove from water and peel skin off.

3. Place eggplant, lemon juice, tahini, sesame seeds, garlic and oil in a food processor and puree.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer to bowl and refrigerate.  This dish only gets better the longer it sits!

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