Baba Ganoush

As much as I love to cook and eat, I do have several food aversions.  In cooking, it’s fairly easy to skirt around some dreaded ingredients of mine and selfishly make foods that only have things in it that I will eat.   I took one of those social media quizzes a while ago, and I had to identify 5 foods I won’t eat that most people love.  It was an easy list to complete and included mayonnaise, avocados, cottage cheese, sour cream, hard boiled eggs, runny yolks in eggs, canned tuna, beer, mushrooms and beans (not the string bean variety).  Yes, my list is easily more than 5.  I can probably add a few more to this as well.  A challenging list of foods that are so much a part of many recipes.  Can’t do sour cream  or guac on my mexican, no beer with my crabs or pizza and no beans in my chili.  And since I don’t eat beans, I don’t eat hummus.

Crazy,  I know.  Everyone loves the stuff.  I want to like it.  I really do.  I can’t get my head around the garbanzo bean.  I’m heading to Israel for the first time in July and it’s basically the national food there.  I’m going to really try to get on board with it over there.  I heard it is not like what we have commercially  over here.  It swims in a bath of olive oil and has lots of tahini and garlic…all green light foods for me.

In the meantime, before I jet off to Israel, I will continue to enjoy the sister to hummus, baba ganoush.  Swap out the chick pea with smokey eggplant and it’s basically the same dip.  I made a batch the over day to get me through lunches this week at school.  My motivation for work/school  lunches have hit rock bottom and I’m running out of ideas.

The secret to really good baba ganoush is to get the eggplant really smokey.  I do this by grilling it until the outside becomes almost black and the skin literally starts to split.  It takes about 15-20 minutes on the grill.

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That’s the hardest part of the whole recipe.  The rest is just whirling the ingredients in a food processor, putting it in a bowl with a sprinkling of good olive oil and chopped. parsley.

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I included the seasonings I like.  I like the familiar flavor of cumin in it, just not too much.  To add to the smokey taste I use a bit of ancho chilli powder.  Some recipes use paprika or cayenne.

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Baba Ganoush

2 medium-sized eggplants
1/3 cup  tahini (sesame paste)
1 teaspoons coarse salt
juice of a whole lemon
4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder
pinch of cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
a half bunch picked flat-leaf parsley leaves
1. Preheat the grill till super hot, 500 degrees.
2. Prick each eggplant a few times, then char the outside of the eggplants by placing them directly on the grill,  turn them until the eggplants are uniformly-charred on the outside. They should like flat tires. 
3. Remove from grill and let cool.
4. Split the eggplant and scrape out the pulp. Puree the pulp in a blender or food processor with the other ingredients until smooth.
5. Taste, and season with additional salt and lemon juice, if necessary. Serve drizzle with olive oil, parsley and serve with crudite or toasted pita chips for dipping.

 

Storage: Baba Ganoush can be made and refrigerated for up to five days prior to serving.

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