(say that like the beginning of Barbara Ann by the Beach Boys.)
Man-that baba ganoush was some tasty eats to nosh on while watching the Olympics opening ceremony-which were freaking amazing, by the way. Too bad I finished it last Monday-5 days too early. Damn.
I’ve been into dips lately. It’s a great way to use up fresh produce you can’t stop buying from the farmers market, cause I’ve been having a problem with that lately. It’s becoming a problem-I get so excited every Saturday morning at the market that I buy waaay more veggies than 1 petite person could possibly consume. That’s lots and lots and lots of chopped salads. And I’m getting a little (just a little) sick of them. But I can’t stop buying veggies. So, I’ve needed to find alternative ways of eating them. And dipping them in yummy dips has been delightfully delish. Lots of hummus, a white bean and olive dip from Martha Stewart (coming…), and my latest venture: baba ganoush.
I’ve eaten buckets of the baba at restaurants, especially from a fantastic kosher deli near my job. I always gobble it before the hummus but I’ve never considered making it myself. It seems so daunting and complicated, especially compared to hummus. With hummus, just dump a bunch of ingredients into the food processor and give it a whirl. With baba ganoush, you gotta roast the eggplant first. That’s one extra step-a scary one. However, I like taking risks. Heck-I cut my own hair quite often! If that isn’t a risk, I don’t know what is. So, when I saw a gorgeous bi-colored eggplant at the farmers market last Saturday, I decided to fuel my audacious side and try my had at baba ganoush.
And now it’s time for another photo essay-cause we all love photos, don’t we.
This first step was to roast the eggplant on a burner on the stove. I’ve seen chefs do it on TV with eggplants and such, but I’ve never tried it myself. So, I just used the hours and hours of Food Network knowledge I had stored in my brain and let it rip. I put it directly on top of the burner and rotated every minute or so until the entire eggplant was completely charred.
Use tongs to rotate the eggplant cause you don’t want to burn your hands!! It took about 15 minutes total to char it. This is not cooking the eggplant, just roasting the outside to make it all smokey tasting. The longer you do this, the smokier the baba ganoush will taste. This is what it looked like when I was done with the stove.
I then stuck the eggplant in the oven at about 400 degrees for about 30 minutes-until I could stick a knife in the eggplant with no resistance. That is more important than the time-just make sure the eggplant is entire cooked and mushy. Mushy eggplant-mmmm.
The next step was when it became easy as pie. Or easy as hummus. I did my best to peel the skin off the eggplant and put it in the insides (it’s okay if some of the skin stays on-definitely not the end of the world) in a food processor along with a tablespoon of tahini, the juice of half a lemon, a good drizzle of olive oil, salt and a clove of garlic that I roasted as well. I didn’t want to put in a clove of raw garlic in because the flavor can overpower so much and I didn’t want it to hide the smokey flavor of the eggplant. So, when I put the eggplant in the oven, I stuck a clove of garlic in as well. I think it was a good choice.
And the taste? Yum!!!! Nice and smokey and delicious. It was a bit on the watery side, so maybe next time I’ll add more tahini, another clove of garlic or roast the eggplant on the stove a little longer. But, I don’t want to mess with a good thing. And an easy thing!! I was kinda shocked that this thing I had thought was so difficult for so long was so easy and achievable. So, something that I thought was going to be a huge risk in the kitchen actually ended up with a cinch. And I was able to empty my fridge of lots of veggies by dipping them in that tasty baba ganoush. Thanks baba ganoush!!! You’re a life (or veggie) savor.