31 December 2010

Baba Ghanoush - Middle Eastern Dip/Spread

Baba Ghanoush, my second favorite Middle Eastern food (after hummus) is another one of those things my texturally challenged husband won't even try. He's just not a dip/spread kinda guy. But since most people are, you should have some of this on hand over the weekend. Make a big batch, serve some tonight and the rest over the weekend. It keeps nicely for a few days.

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?

Update 08/29/16: I haven't bought any pita bread in some time, not since I started making my own. It's really quite easy, and I hope you'll try it soon!

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.

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.

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.


Cranberry Morning said...

Your husband isn't the only texture-challenged person. Mine won't eat green peas because of it (and I'm not even talking about the -shudder- mushy minty peas they serve in the UK).

Anything named Baba Ghanoush in my house would have people fleeing fast. Maybe a less exotic name would help with the food fradie cats. But to me, it sounds and looks delicious. Nice photo, especially nice that you included the beautiful eggplant. I'm going to try to remember to call it aubergine. Sounds so much more interesting. :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Judy. What are we going to do about these picky guys?! But even I can't eat English mushy peas, though I do like fresh or frozen green peas.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Patti. Glad to see you back online!

Sully said...

Hey, you are what you eat, and Ed won't try "dips." It's semantics. Me, I love that stuff, but then I'm impervious to labels. And I've probably eaten baba ghanoush, but again, the name doesn't register. Eggplant is one of the few labels that scares me, however. Sort of like miscegenation between plants and animals. The thing about sauces is you seldom deduce the ingredients by sight, and not knowing the ingredients can be a plus.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

It's probably best if guys like you and Ed don't ask too many questions! Or even think too much about your food!

Unknown said...

I love Baba Ghanoush...it's my second favorite after hummus too! Yours looks wonderful (as always!!)
Happy New Year to you Jean!!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jenn. Even my husband thought it LOOKED good (lol)! Since you like those two dishes with tahini, come back next week to see how to use up the leftover tahini.

Vic said...

Happy New Year, Jean. Once again, your recipes tempt me to cook!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Vic! I hope 2011 will be a fabulous year for you.

Anonymous said...

I don't remember my family making baba ghanoush, but lots of hummus and tabouli. And stuffed grape leaves--you should try those. Linda

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Linda. I've only ever had small vegetarian ones served as a cold appetizer. Would like to try the hot, meat-filled ones as well. Must make both in 2011!

Anonymous said...

I'm only texture-challenged in the slimy area--that's why I can't do raw shrimp at a sushi bar, or snails. I've been wanting to make baba ghanoush forever, and I'm asking myself why I haven't gotten around to it yet. I think the texture of it looks awesome. =)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jenna, I'm so glad you like it! And I hope you'll make it soon. It is such a delicious AND healthful treat. And not all slimy!

Sippity Sup said...

Yea. I have always wanted a decent recipe for this! GREG

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Greg. I could go for some right this minute, along with one of your special "sippities."

Anita said...

Hello Jean!
Hummus is my favorite as well and I have it more times every week. This Baba Ghanoush would be a nice change to try something other than hummus!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Anita! I hope you'll try it soon and let me know how it turns out for you.

Jena said...

I used to order Baba Ghanoush all of the time from a restaurant in town, but that restaurant closed. I have been meaning to try to make my own. I'm so glad I found this recipe!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Jena. I'm so glad you found it, too! Do let me know how it turns out for you. I could eat this stuff all day!

Ramona said...

Hi Jean,
So happy I found your blog. In fact, I discovered it when looking for a vegan chocolate cake recipe - the depression cake made me curious. :) I will try that out someday too, but while browsing your recipes I knew that I needed to make the Baba Ghanoush right away (as 2 eggplants wanted to be turned into something delicious).

It was the first time trying Baba Ghanoush for me, I have been wanting to make it for ages. Thanks for the recipe, it turned out delicious. Though I must admit that I'm rather into an eggplant cream made with onions, the Romanian version of an eggplant spread (called "salata de vinete" in Romanian), as I grew up eating this version.

Sending you kind regards from Germany,

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Ramona, thank you. I'll have to try that Romanian eggplant spread sometime as well. But oh I love the tahini and lemon of baba ghanoush. Let me know how the depression cake turns out for you!