As near-eastern dishes go, baba ghanoush is the quiet sibling to the more popular hummus. Both recipes revolve around a similar mix of ingredients, and both dishes are all-but ubiquitous in your pita-bread establishments. And yet, for whatever reason, hummus always seems to get top-billing. It practically co-starred with Adam Sandler in You Don’t Mess with the Zohan.
It needn’t be this way any longer.
I prefer grilling the eggplants, but I’ve noticed that some recipes bake them. I’ve made this recipe a few times now, and I’ve found the best flavor seems to come from picking small, firm eggplants, and really letting them get nice and charred on the grill. I go about 20 to 25 minutes, rotating every so often.
WHAT TO GRAB:
3 medium size, firm eggplants
3 to 5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons tahini sauce (available in most grocery stores)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons of lemon juice (1 and 1/2 lemons)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons, diced flat-leaf parsley
1. With a knife, make thin slits in the skin of the eggplant, about a 1/2 inch deep. I make about three slits in four or five spots around the eggplant.
2. Wedge the slices of garlic into the slits in the eggplant. You may have to thin the garlic a little bit as you go, but don’t get frustrated. In the end, you’ll be glad you added the garlic.
3. Grill the eggplants until the skin is well-charred all around. Like I said, I go about 20 to 25 minutes at around 450 to 500 degrees.
4. Let the eggplants cool and let the liquid drain. Remove the skins. I also like removing some of the chunks of seeds, but I’m not too fastidious about it.
5. Give the eggplant flesh a good whirl in the food processor. Add the tahini sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Whirl again. Taste and see what you think. You may have to experiment with these four ingredients to see what combination works best.
6. Add the diced parsley and pulse for a second!*
*If you pulse for too long, you’ll turn your baba ghanoush green.
7. Toast some pita or baguette slices and serve!