A few weeks ago, Andrew and I threw a surprise party for his stepmom, Ann. I had a great time planning the menu and preparing all the food, and I have several recipes and photos to share from the party. I'll start with Baba Ghanoush (say it: babba gah-noosh). This Middle Eastern dip is a lot like hummus, but instead of chickpeas, it gets its substance from roasted eggplant.
This recipe is flavorful, packed with good-for-you ingredients, and makes a great party dip, or even a light lunch when served with veggies, crackers, and toasted pita bread.
adapted from Recipe Zaar
1 medium to large eggplant
1/4 c. tahini paste**
1/4 c. lemon juice
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
Prick eggplant in several places with a knife or fork. Place on a baking sheet under the broiler. Let it roast for at least 45 minutes, turning occasionally. You want the skin to shrivel and the eggplant to be completely soft.
Remove the eggplant from the oven and allow it to cool. As you can see, I used several small eggplants.
Peel back the skin, and use a spoon to scoop out the meat of the eggplant, including the seeds.
You can go ahead and throw the eggplant right into your food processor.
Add the tahini, garlic, and lemon juice to the bowl of the food processor.
**You can purchase tahini paste at some major grocery stores, or your local Mediterranean or Middle Eastern food store. I found mine at West Side Market in Cleveland, where I do all my shopping for meats, bread, produce, and dairy products.
So, back to the recipe. Add the lemon juice and garlic already!
Blend until all ingredients are broken down into a thick paste. Add salt to taste. You may want to add more lemon juice or tahini at this point.
The original recipe recommends an interesting way to serve the baba ghanoush. Pile the dip into a serving bowl. Create a well in the center with the back of a spoon. Fill the well with the olive oil, and sprinkle with the parsley. Beautiful, delicious, and easy to make, baba ghanoush is equally welcome at an appetizer party and in my lunchbox.