Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghanouj) (photo)

Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghanouj)

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  • Prep: 10 minutes
  • Cook: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4-8 as an appetizer.

You can use a food processor to make baba ghanouj, but take care not to make it too smooth; this is supposed to be a rustic, slightly chunky dip.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 globe eggplants (totaling 2 lbs)
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp roasted tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (more or less depending on how garlicky you want your baba ghanouj to be), finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Juice of one lemon - about 2 1/2 tablespoons
  • Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley

Method

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1a Oven method Preheat oven to 400°F. Poke the eggplants in several places with the tines of a fork. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and brush the cut sides lightly with olive oil (about 1 Tbsp). Place on a baking sheet, cut side down, and roast until very tender, about 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

1b Grilling method Preheat grill. Poke the eggplants in a few places with a fork, then rub the eggplants with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Grill over high heat, turning as each side blackens. Put the charred eggplants in a paper bag, close the bag and let the eggplants steam in their skins for 15-20 minutes.

2 Scoop the eggplant flesh into a large bowl and mash well with a fork. Combine the eggplant, minced garlic, remaining olive oil (about 2 Tbsp), tahini, cumin, 2 Tbsp of the lemon juice, the salt, and a pinch of cayenne. Mash well. You want the mixture to be somewhat smooth but still retaining some of the eggplant's texture.

3 Allow the baba ghanouj to cool to room temperature, then season to taste with additional lemon juice, salt, and cayenne. If you want, swirl a little olive oil on the top. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.

Serve with pita bread, crackers, toast, sliced baguette, celery, or cucumber slices.

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