As with the hummus, don't get too carried away with the garlic. Remember the garlic is just a minor player, the eggplant is the star. You'll have plenty of time to make the oven-toasted pita wedges (see below) while the baba ghanoush is chilling. Tell me, do you or someone you know have these texture issues, or is my guy the only person on the planet who doesn't like dips of any kind?
Baba Ghanoush - Caviar d'Aubergine
(Makes 2 cups)
2 medium (1 1/2 - 2 pounds total) eggplants
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon (1/2 small clove) minced garlic
1/4 cup unsalted tahini
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut eggplants in half, score tops with diamond pattern, rub with just enough oil to coat. Place on foil-lined baking sheet and roast about 30 minutes or until very soft. Cool slightly. Scoop out flesh into colander and let stand a few minutes to drain off any liquid.
2 In bowl of food processor*, place drained eggplant and all remaining ingredients. Pulse 8 to 12 times. Put into serving dish and cover with plastic wrap directly on the surface. Refrigerate for at least four hours before serving. Can be made a day or two ahead.
3 Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and some finely chopped mint, flat-leaf parsley or pistachios. (I didn't have any of those on hand, so I just used some paprika.) Serve with oven-toasted whole wheat pita wedges (see below), sliced baguette or Armenian cracker bread (I love ak-mak!) and raw vegetable strips.
* I have the DLC-10E, which (understandably after all this time--I've had it since I was very young) is no longer available. See Cuisinart DLC-2009CHB Prep 9 9-Cup Food Processor, Brushed Stainless and other currently available models.
Oven-Toasted Pita Wedges
(Makes 48 wedges)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush a little extra-virgin olive oil on both sides of 6 whole wheat pitas (one package). Cut each into 8 wedges. Place on two large baking sheets. Sprinkle with a little salt, if you like. Bake for 6 to 10 minutes or until crisp; no need to turn. Can be made day ahead, cooled completely and stored in airtight container.