I know the name sounds a bit strange but it is a wonderful tasting and very filling dip. Especially good with cut up raw vegetables or my favorite fresh pita bread*. So guess what I am making today? Baba Ganoush. This is going to be lunch. Joe and I have always talked about just having dessert first and forget about the lunch or dinner. Well I say let’s have an appetizer for lunch and forget about the lunch!
So let’s talk eggplant, what a wonderful vegetable. I make a delicious eggplant lasagna as well as a ratatouille recipe that I will post in the future. Both are excellent ways to use this very versatile veg.
- 1 large or 3 smaller fresh shiny eggplants
- 1/2 head of garlic just cut the tops off to allow the oil to penetrate the cloves
- 1 clove raw garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon garam masala – it is a traditional Indian spice blend that usually includes cumin seeds, cinnamon, coriander seeds, black pepper, clove, nutmeg and chili.
- Olive oil for baking the veggies and a few tablespoons for the top of the dip
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
First take your eggplants, wash them and cut them in half. In a small tin foil wrapper add half head of garlic and just trim the tops of the garlic to show the clove below. Place all on a cookie sheet that has been lined in tin foil, less to clean up. Sprinkle all with olive oil, add the oregano and bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until soft. Squeeze any excess olive oil from the garlic tin foil into your mixture, what a wonderful flavorful oil it has made.
In a large bowl spoon all the eggplant flesh and squeeze the bottom of the garlic head – the cloves will just pop out and add them to the bowl. Mash all together and add your tahini, lemon juice, garam masala, salt and pepper. Finely grate the one raw clove of garlic on top of the mixture. Mix well. It should be dip consistency, pretty thick with no big chunks of eggplant if it seems too thick add a little water until you get the right consistency. Taste for seasoning add more salt if necessary. Refrigerate. Right before serving add your cilantro and mix well. Serve with sliced vegetables, crackers or pita bread.