This is a very popular Middle Eastern spread and one of the most popular of Greek
In Greek it's melitzanosalata or eggplant salad. In Lebanese
it's baba ghanouj. In our household we just call it delicious.
of our favorite summer appetizer recipes. We have added this to our list of favorite
make ahead appetizers. It's a great cold appetizer recipe for parties and it will
definitely please your vegetarian friends.
This Mediterranean inspired
dish doesn't require any exotic or hard to find ingredients. I served it along
with an Afghan Barbary bread from Bakhtar Bakery that I found at our local international
food store. Pita bread would also be a perfect with this dip.
read my "cook's notes" following the recipe.
Baba Ghanouj (baba
1 large eggplant 3 - 4 large garlic cloves,
unpeeled 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1 tablespoon
sesame seed paste (tahini) 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
One lemon - start with juice from 1/2 salt & pepper to taste
oven to 400 degrees
Prick the eggplant all over with a fork. Place on
a sheet tray in the oven for 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes place the unpeeled
garlic cloves on the sheet tray with the eggplant and cook another 15-20 minutes,
until the eggplant and garlic cloves are soft.
Allow the eggplant and garlic to cool.
the eggplant in half and scoop out the flesh into a food processor. Squeeze the
cooked garlic cloves out of their peels and add to the food processor. Add the
spices, sesame seed paste, olive oil and juice of 1/2 of the lemon. Pulse until
smooth. Season to taste. Serve room temperature.
Serve with flatbread
of your choice.
Cook's Notes: I have had baba ghanoush, so I knew
how it should taste before I started this recipe. If it's your first time making
it you'll need to do some experimentation. You really need to taste this dish
to find what balance of flavors you prefer. I followed the recipe exactly. After
tasting it I found I needed to add more spices, lemon juice and olive oil than
is called for. I'd also suggest you add 3 cloves of garlic and taste it before
adding the 4th clove. I ended up using 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 8 grinds of pepper.
"Large eggplant" is a subjective term and the amount of spices you'll
need is based on the size of the eggplant. Make sure you stir the tahini and incorporate
the oil and paste well before you add it. We liked this best served room temperature.