Fire Roasted Mixed Herb Baba Ghanoush
The first time I “met” Baba Ganoush was at a party with my sister (who is, by the way, a fabulous and very adventurous cook). She introduces me to SOooooo many new things that I have never thought or heard of. She was raving about this wonderful Middle Eastern dip that her friends were serving, was flabbergasted that I’d never heard of it … and could NOT wait for me to try it.
Needless to say, I tried it and loved it. Baba Ganoush is akin to hummus in that there is garlic, lemon juice and tahini involved. There have been many attempts throughout my life to reproduce that dip, some more successful than others. This is my latest incarnation of Baba Ganoush–made with fire roasted eggplant and fresh herbs. I took one taste and pronounced it a resounding success. I took this deliciousness to my parents’ place last weekend and we decided it would be dinner … just Baba Ganoush and dad’s homemade focaccia, toasted, with wine. It was perfect! (Especially since my daughter and I had surprisedly just “shown up” on their doorstep with no warning, which was a fun surprise, but left them feeling like they needed to feed us dinner, so this was the PERFECT solution.)
Then I took some to work and shared it with my friends who had never tried or heard of Baba Ganoush. They said it was good (and also suggested I do a “dips” cooking class), so I asked them what they thought the base for the dip was. They guessed several things, including beans, but they couldn’t figure it out. When I told them it was eggplant, they were surprised and admitted they never would have guessed that. (Honestly, when my sister asked me the same thing that first day I tried it, so many years ago, I couldn’t figure it out either.) … So I would suggest you make this healthy dip, serve it to your guests and play the same game and see if THEY can figure it out. I wish I could hear their responses!
- 1 large eggplant, or two Japanese eggplant
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 - 3 Tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
- 2 - 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 - 5 cloves garlic
- A handful of mixed fresh herbs (I used mint, rosemary, basil, oregano and tarragon)
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt
- Fire up the grill. Poke a hole in your eggplant (to prevent explosions) and set it on the hot grill. Cover the grill and let it cook until the eggplant is very soft and the skin is charred, turning a few times so you cook all sides of the eggplant. Set the eggplant aside to let it cool.
- Meanwhile, gather your other ingredients except the vinegar and salt and put them in a food processor or handi chopper.
- When the eggplant is cool enough to touch, scoop the inside out and cut it into smaller chunks. (You can also use the charred skin if you want an extra smoky flavor. Sometimes I do include it, but I opted not to this time.)
- Toss in the eggplant chunks in with the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. If you need, add a Tablespoon of water to help it blend smooth. Add balsamic and salt to taste.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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