Saturday, August 27, 2011

baba ga-what?

In response to Ali's recent comment:

"Again with the eggplant!!! But this looks so yummy that you will have me trying it before summer's over (actually I do have ratatouille on my "to-cook" list but was planning an eggplant-free version)! I've just never cooked it well...any tips to make it not taste like an old kitchen dishrag?"

I figured it was about time to make baba ganoush. I picked up a large, gorgeous, shiny, perfectly-ripe beauty of an eggplant at the Farmer's Market this morning, and decided there and then that I would be spending the next few days living off of salads topped with either beets and goat cheese or tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, with plenty of crostini and baba on the side.

This creamy, subtle dip is great with just about any crackery/bread-type object, crudites, or, well, tortilla chips, if that's all you have on hand. :)

1 large eggplant
1 head garlic
olive oil (about 1/4 cup, maybe a little more, maybe a little less)
2 tablespoons tahini
juice of one lemon
salt to taste
few dashes smoked paprika

1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Halve the eggplant, (no need to stem or trim,) and rub the cut sides with a few teaspoons olive oil. Place cut-side down on the baking sheet. Trim the head of garlic so the cloves are just exposed at the top. Drizzle a small square of foil with about a 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil, and smear the head of garlic in the oil. Wrap up tightly in the foil. Add the garlic to the baking sheet.
3. Roast the eggplant and garlic for about an hour, rotating your baking sheet halfway through if needed. Cool slightly.
4. Scoop the eggplant flesh out of the peel into a bowl, and squeeze the roasted garlic out of the papery skin. Add the tahini, lemon juice, salt, paprika, and a drizzle of olive oil to the bowl. Puree with a stick blender until very smooth. Add more oil as needed. (Alternately, you could add everything to a food processor or blender and puree -- I just don't have any of those fancy, high-tech appliances.) :)
5. Cool to room temperature or refrigerate before serving.

Note that I am usually fond of leaving the peels on fruits and vegetables. I have found, with past experiences, that eggplant peels just don't puree all that well, and they help your finished dip take on an unappetizing grey color, so lately, I have been tossing the peels after roasting. Feel free to add them to your batch, though!

Now Ali, I hope this doesn't taste like an old kitchen dishrag to you!


Ali said...

Awesome! I love all dips and spreads so this is right up my alley (or Ali)! THANKS!! I will try it for sure :) Off to the market right now to get an eggplant!

sarah said...

Any experience with how long this dip will keep? Could it be frozen?