Baba Ghanoush

Ingredients

  •   One 1 ½- to 2-pound eggplant
  • clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup  tahini
  • 2 tablespoons  lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon  cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoons  sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon  parsley, chopped
  •   Pita wedges, warmed, or cut vegetables, for serving

Baba ghanoush is an eggplant-based dish that originated in the Middle East. In North America, it’s used as a dip for pita and vegetables, but in Egypt it’s a side dish. Grilling the eggplant before peeling the skin gives it a delightful, smoky flavor.

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Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Using a fork, prick the eggplant 6-8 times. (This will keep the eggplant from exploding when it cooks.) Place the eggplant on the grill to char the skin, turning 2-3 times, for about 10-15 minutes. When the skin starts to easily peel away, it is charred well.

Using tongs, transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet and finish cooking in the oven until very soft, 15-20 minutes. (To test doneness, stick a bamboo skewer into the center of the widest part of the eggplant and if it easily slides in without resistance, it is cooked through.) Remove from the oven and let sit at room temperature until cool enough to handle. Peel away the skin and discard.

Cut the peeled eggplant into pieces to fit into a food processor or blender. Add the garlic, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, and salt, and blend until smooth. Scrape into a shallow serving bowl and using a spoon, make a well in center. Drizzle the olive oil on top and in the well. Top with the parsley and serve with warm pita wedges or veggies.

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