Best Baba Ghanoush

13 12 2011

This is what you’re going to bring to your next potluck dinner. This is what you’re going to have on hand for your unexpected guests. This is healthy, vegan, gluten free, low fat, slow carb, quick, simple, customizable, tastes complex, and gets better with age. This is David Lebovitz’s baba ghanoush, and this is my go-to recipe to easily impress.

The secret is pictured here – you roast the everliving shit out of the unassuming eggplant directly over open flame. This enchants the innards with some kind of complicated chemical magic (we’re talking way beyond wingardium leviosa here), inundating them with Essence of Char. The eggplant sweats it, but you don’t have to. Burn these beauties into brilliance, then pop them in the oven to further cream them from within.

Unf. Yeah, eggplant’s sexy.

Best Baba Ghanoush
adapted a bit from David Lebovitz.
enough for six for pickin’.

2 medium-sized eggplants
1/4 cup (130g) tahini
salt to taste
freshly-squeezed lemon juice to taste
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/8 teaspoon chile powder*
1/4 teaspoon cumin*
1/8 teaspoon pimentón de la vera*
1/8 teaspoon cayenne*
1 tablespoon olive oil
optional and amazing: za’atar

1. Preheat the oven to 375F/190C.

2. Prick each eggplant a few times, then char the outside of the eggplants by placing them directly on the flame of a gas burner, and, as the skin chars, turn them until the eggplants are uniformly-charred on the outside.

3. Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until they’re completely soft; you should be able to easily poke a paring knife into them and meet no resistance.

4. Remove from oven and let cool.

5. Split the eggplant and scrape out the pulp. Puree the pulp in a blender or food processor with the other ingredients until smooth. Immersion blenders work wonders here.

6. Taste, and season with additional salt and lemon juice, if necessary. Chill for a few hours before serving. Serve sprinkled with za’atar with an olive oil well in the center, accompanied by pita chips, or carrot and bell pepper crudités.

* Change these as you please.

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