If you’re perusing the farmer’s market and come across some beautiful, purple eggplant – or if you’ve got a bumper crop of it in your garden – you’ll want to whip up some of this week’s baba ghanoush.
This Middle Eastern spread is similar to hummus but features roasted or grilled eggplant in place of the chickpeas, giving it a lighter texture.
The soft flesh from the eggplant is pureed with garlic, lemon juice and olive oil.
Like hummus, baba ghanoush gets a creaminess and earthy flavor from tahini. The sesame seed paste is available in the international foods section of most supermarkets.
You’ll want to taste the baba ganoush for salt and then spread it in a bowl, drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley. Serve with pita wedges or crispy pita chips.
The dip also makes a great sandwich spread on pita with diced tomatoes, cucumbers and crumbled feta cheese.
Refrigerate any leftover dip, which will keep for several days in the refrigerator.
2 medium eggplants
1/3 cup tahini
1 teaspoon minced garlic, about 1 large clove
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt, to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Pita wedges or chips, for serving
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place eggplants on a baking sheet and pierce several times with a paring knife. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 45 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking.
Remove from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle.
Cut eggplants in half and scrape the flesh into a food processor fitted with the “S” blade. Add the tahini and garlic and process until very smooth. Add the lemon juice and salt to taste (start with about ½ teaspoon of salt). Pulse. Add more salt as needed.
Spread in a bowl, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the parsley.
Makes 2 cups.