There is a Jewish market across town that sells respectable baba ganoush, but I haven’t made it over that way in awhile. The grocery store chooses to sell something labeled “baba ganoush” but I’m fairly convinced it’s very bland hummus mixed with paste.
I miss the Greek restaurant in my old neighborhood of NYC that had absolutely amazing baba ganoush. It was so much more flavorful and rustic. So, I tried to make it myself.
The result was excellent! I will no longer have to stoop to dip disappointment! I welcome you all to experience this liberation!
(makes about 2.5 cups)
2 medium-sized eggplants, sliced into 1 inch discs and halved
1/4 cup tahini (or 1/4 cups sesame seeds and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil)
1 teaspoons coarse salt
2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 large bulb garlic
1/4 teaspoon cumin
a pinch of ground black pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Cut your eggplant and rub each piece with olive oil, generously, and place on a oiled or nonstick baking sheet.
2. Roast eggplant pieces in the oven for 20-30 minutes until they are completely tender, golden on the surface, and the skins are blackened. Also, wrap your garlic bulb in aluminum foil with a tiny drizzle of olive oil and bake for 10 minutes. Remove both from oven and let cool.
3. Scrape your eggplant centers off their skins into a food processor (or a large mixing bowl). To your eggplant, add salt, lemon juice, roasted garlic pieces (you can squeeze them out of their skins easily), cumin, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, pepper, and parsley. Mix until uniform in your processor or in your bowl with a masher or immersion blender.
4. Season to taste with additional salt and lemon juice, if desired. Chill, in sealed containers, for an hour or two. You can save some in the freezer for later and keep some in the fridge for now! Serve with pita and sliced vegetables like cucumber or peppers.
NB: I have found that several recipes suggest that you can grill your eggplant to achieve roasted-ness. So, if you’re breaking out the grill soon, keep this recipe in mind.