BOO-ba Ganoush!

Happy Halloween!  I took a trip down memory lane to see if anything I have made recently would make for a holiday-appropriate post.  Already posted the pumpkin muffins….no chocolate spiders or ghost lollipops….

Babba ganoush!  It’s Lebanese and made from eggplant.  But the name sounds like something you could yell as you jump out from around a corner and scare someone!  I’ll try it out on my husband when he wakes up.

I follow a kindred spirit in the U.K. who shares recipes with an eye on a reasonable budget called Frugal Feeding.  He recently shared his Baba Ghanoush recipe, and I was inspired to attempt my own version.  Mine differed greatly based primarily on what I had on hand and what I don’t have on hand, like a mortar and pestle.  And I call them eggplant instead of aubergine.  I’m sure using whole spices, toasting them, and grinding them myself would result in a totally different taste experience, but time and resources say, Too bad Marian!

The eggplant/aubergine was the starting point.  We got another baby eggplant in our CSA and I didn’t want to just roast it with tons of vegetables this time.  I wanted to celebrate the eggplant in a dish that really featured it as a star ingredient.  I also manged to use some of the peppers of unknown variety in this dish.  They offer some heat, but nothing too intense.

Oven Roasted Babba Ganoush

Ingredients

  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of half a lemon (or about 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp finely chopped pepper (use whatever heat level you are comfortable with)
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
  • Heaping 1/8 tsp garlic salt
  • Dash of crushed red pepper flakes (not quite 1/8 tsp)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Pierce and roast the eggplant in a 430 oven for about 30 minutes for a small one (closer to 40 minutes if using a regular size one) or until the eggplant appears a little charred.  If you are feeling very talented, toast the eggplant over a naked flame until the outside looks a little charred.  I put mine on a piece of foil in the oven.

 

2. Scoop out the innards and seeds and place it in a food processor.  (If like me, you are dreaming of the day you will have a food processor, chop the eggplant very small and use a blender to get at least part of the eggplant pureed smooth, and the chunks will blend in alright.)

3. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, and spices and process until you reach the desired consistency.  Serve with fresh pitas, pita chips, tortilla chips, or fresh vegetables.

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