Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Baba Ganoush

Baba ganoush (pronounced baba gan-oosh') is very simple, it's basically a middle eastern eggplant dip.

2 large ripe eggplants
1 large clove of garlic
sea salt
3 T. tahini
2 lemons, squeeed for juice, seeds removed

You'll need a gas grill and a food processor if you want the same results I got. I highly recommend doing it this way. After making it this way, I'll never go back.

I made baba ganoush several times in the past with poor results, and today I figured out why. I never grilled the eggplant before, always broiled it in the oven. It doesn't taste the same from the oven. The oven doesn't give that smoky flavor that makes it so good. Today I put two large eggplants on the gas grill outside after poking a million little holes in them with a fork, and grilled the living #$%&*! out of them. I would say they were on there for a good 30 minutes. I turned them every 10 minutes or so to grill them evenly.

Then I let them cool on the counter for a while. They smelled so good I wanted to eat them before I did anything else.

I squeezed two small lemons and removed the seeds from the juice. I dumped the juice into the food processor, followed that with a big clove of garlic, a generous sprinkling of salt, and about 3 tablespoons of tahini. I'm not a big tahini fan. I just don't like the taste of untoasted sesame seeds. I blended that all up in the food processor until it was a thin liquid.

Once the eggplants were cool enough, I cut them down the middle, and scraped out all the insides, being careful to scrape all the way down to the inner side of the skin, because the browned parts of the outer eggplant that cooked the most have the most flavor. I threw the dry charred outer skin away.

I put the eggplant guts into the food processor with the tahini-lemon-garlic-salt mixture and ran it for a long time, until it was almost shiny on the surface of the mixture.


Then I dug it out of the food processor into a bowl using a spoonula, and stuck it in the fridge, since I couldn't eat it right away (I had to run first). It smelled irresistible. And after a good run, with some pita and kalamata olives and olive oil drizzled on top, who needs 72 virgins? Baba ganoush is heaven. And I'll never buy store-bought again.