I didn’t really have any plans for my CSA eggplants this week, and it turns out they wanted to be baba ghanoush when they grew up. Baba ghanoush is a middle eastern spread made with roasted, pureed eggplants. It's very similar to hummus, most folks eat it with pita bread or chips, but it has a richer, smoky flavor because of the eggplants are roasted first on an open flame. I used my gas grill to char the skins before roasting them in my oven. You could accomplish this on a gas grill or even under your oven's broiler element. If none of those appeal to you, you can skip the charring step entirely to get a milder result.
I used the 2 globe eggplants and 2 Japanese eggplants from my share for this recipe, but you can use specifically globe eggplants if that's what you have on-hand and get similar results.
2 smaller standard (globe) eggplants
2 Japanese eggplants
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 tbs tahini (sesame paste)
1/2 - 1 tsp sea salt
2 TBS freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1 TBS olive oil
pita or crackers to serve
- Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).
- Prick each eggplant a few times, then char the outside of the eggplants by placing them directly on the flame of a gas burner. Turn the eggplants as they char to achieve a uniformly charred skin.
- Place the eggplants on a baking sheet in the oven and roast 15 to 20 minutes, until they’re completely cooked through and soft (check by piercing with a sharp knife - you shouldn't feel any resistance).
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Meanwhile, take the garlic for a spin in the food processor until minced.
- When the eggplants have cooled, cut them in half and scrape out the pulp with a spoon. Add the pulp to the garlic in the food processor along with the tahini, salt and lemon juice. Puree until smooth, adding the olive oil in a steady stream while processing.
- Taste, and add extra salt and/or lemon juice to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and a dash of paprika along side hot pita, pita crackers, or sliced baguette.
- Store in the fridge for up to five days (I think it tastes better the next day!)
Roasting eggplants is a cinch if you have a gas stove. If not, try your broiler or your grill.