Eggplant (Aubergine) Dip And Spread - Baba Ghanouj
Smokey baba ghanouj is a classic Middle Eastern spread and dip that has become popular all over the world. It’s vegan and gluten free, which works with most diets today. My family has been enjoying this dish for as long as I can remember I don’t recall there being a family meal that my mom hasn’t had it on the table. I truly believe that this is the ultimate eggplant recipe! Just like hummus, this dish is all about your personal taste. You may enjoy a little more tahini or a little more garlic (or less!). Each brand of tahini will give you a little different texture and taste – some may be milder tasting than others – so play with it until it tastes perfectly delicious to you. A simple saute of pine nuts, chopped fresh parsley, and copious amounts of extra virgin olive oil served with pita bread is a classic preparation, but there are endless variations. Have fun being creative!
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Brush olive oil generously all over sliced eggplant. Season with salt and pepper. Lay cut side down on greased baking sheets or on parchment paper. Roast 25 to 30 minutes or more, depending on the size of the eggplants. You want the skin to be very charred and blackened so it will easily collapse.
- In the meantime, saute pine nuts in butter or olive oil until golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Remove eggplants to a large strainer in the sink. Reserve the juice from the baking pans. Let the eggplant sit in strainer, flesh side down, at least 30 minutes. Peel the blackened skin from the flesh and set aside. If you're in a hurry, cool to handle, peel, and then gently squeeze the extra liquid from the flesh.In a processor or blender, pulse the garlic until chopped. Scrape down the sides. Add any reserved liquid from the pan, tahini, lemon juice, a few TBSP olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pure until just blended. Add the eggplant and pulse until you have a smooth texture. Taste and then season again. It may need a TBSP water or more lemon juice.
- Pour into a serving bowl, top with toasted pine nuts, lots of olive oil, and chopped parsley. Serve with pita bread, chips, or fresh vegetables. Serve either room temperature or chilled.