August 18, 2021
This smokey eggplant dip was one of the first things I learned how to cook from my cooking mentor, Hilda Hataar. She is from Jordan and her restaurant was where I first learned to love food, to appreciate high quality ingredients prepared simply, with love. Most of her dishes are made with copious amounts of good olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and fresh herbs and this one is no exception. The silky texture and sweet earthy flavor of the eggplant is the perfect base for this glorious dip. One of my favorite things about this dish is that the goal is to really burn the eggplants, in this way, it so forgiving to the novice cook.
By using an entire head of fresh garlic and sautéing most of it, you end up with a sweet, rich garlic flavor and just a bit of kick from the raw garlic. To make this dip even more delicious, cook the eggplant on a hot grill until it is totally burnt on the outside and tender to the touch. If you have a gas range in your kitchen, you can use kitchen tongs to hold the eggplant directly over the flames until it starts to blister and then transfer it to the hot oven for added smokiness!Author:
Preheat oven to 500
Place the whole eggplants on a parchment lined sheet tray and roast them for about 15 minutes, taking them out of the oven and turning them over half way through. They are done cooking when the skin of the eggplant is burnt and the eggplant is soft and tender.
While the eggplant is roasting, peel and mince the head of garlic. Bring 1/4 of olive oil up to medium heat in a small sauce pot and add in all but 1 Tbsp of the minced garlic. Cook the garlic until it is fragrant and translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
When the eggplants are cool enough to handle, cut them in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the soft flesh. Place it in a food processor or blender.
Add the garlic oil, remaining raw garlic, lemon juice, parsley, tahini and salt (if you are salt averse, use half the amount of salt) and process until smooth. Taste the Baba Ganoush, adjust salt and lemon juice to your liking. If it is too lemony for you, add a little more tahini and olive oil.
Once the Baba Ganoush is seasoned to your taste, transfer it to a bowl and top it with a generous amount of olive oil, sesame seeds, more parsley and little chili flake if you like heat! Enjoy!
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