Thursday, June 29, 2006

Baba Ganoush

I'm keeping on the themes of great chilled dishes for summer as well as things I make after roasting all my market eggplants and red bell peppers. Today, it's Baba Ghanoush (or Baba Ghanoush or baba ganoosh.) As it is with terms borrowed from the Arabic, just pick your phonetic equivalent and run with it. Baba Ganoush is a Middle Eastern dip that goes really well with just bread or with vegetable crudités. Is is cooling and very much not like salad, which makes me happy these days.

The Ingredients:

1 large eggplant
½ tsp salt
1 medium clove garlic, peeled
2-3 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste, much like runny peanut butter)
1 mint sprig
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preparing the eggplant: Prick the eggplant with a fork ina a few places. Roast it in a 350F oven for 45 minutes to and hour until completely soft. Let stand until it’s cool enough to touch. Cut the eggplant in half longways (from top to tail), score the flesh into ½ inch squares and scoop into a mesh strainer over a bowl. Add ½ tsp salt, mix and let drain for a couple hours. Music to drain eggplant by: The soft, slow, contemplative sounds of Dhafer Youssef. This is perfect for the calm stillness that torrid hot afternoons impose on us.

Making the dip: Put the garlic and mint leaves into the bowl of a small food processor. Process them until they are in small pieces. Add the drained eggplant, the tahini, the cumin and oprional cayenne pepper. Process until you have a smooth paste. While processor is on, drizzle the olive oil in. Taste and correct for seasoning. Chill and serve with flatbread and raw veggies. This dish is great as part of a cool Eastern Mediterranean mezze dinner.


Blogger hellomelissa said...

yum! what a great (and relatively simple) idea for summer cooking. how about a good (chilled) rice pudding recipe? do you have any of those? it's my favorite summer dessert, save my mom's homemade fresh raspberry pie, with the rasperries straight off the vine.

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keep running with the chilled dishes theme...whenever I read about it, it leaves me wanting for the same!

The thing with the hihiwai (and why my dad and I just tossed'em back into the river) is that they weren't properly the 'right size' for harvesting. More often than not, folks just get too greedy and will keep anything, but I'm against that way of fishing. If we had been suitably outfitted with the right gear and walking shoes we would have walked further up the stream into the valley to find bigger catch. I only wish others would do the same. :-)

6:35 PM  
Blogger Lotus Reads said...

Mmmmmmmmmm, Baba Ghanoush, one of my favorite dips! It brings back such fond memories of my time in Dubai, thanks for sharing this recipe, Susan, I will have to try making it!

1:04 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Melissa, Yes, this is really easy. As for chilled rice pudding, I have a coconut milk-rice pudding thaat I like a lot. Here's the link-

Hi Rowena, thanks for the clarification!

Hi Lotus, Wow, I can't imagine what it would be like living in Dubai.

7:56 PM  
Blogger a.c.t. said...

Looks amazing, will have to try it. I love aubergines, hmm sorry eggplants, and also tahini which I've only ever used in Hummus.

11:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this stuff summer or not.
I like the sound of your recipe! Thanks.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Corrie said...

funny, i'm making baba ganoush right now and just came across your post! still have time to add some cayenne pepper... :)

12:40 PM  

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