Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush is one of my favorite things to do with eggplant. The best thing about it is it freezes and when it is defrosted it retains its texture perfectly. That means if you make a ton of Baba Ganoush in the summer when eggplant is in season, you can just pull it out of the freezer in February and it will still taste shiny and new.

  1. Roast or grill the eggplant. To roast, leave the skin on and prick all over with a knife and put in the oven at 425 or so for an hour or so. It should feel mushy when its done. After it cools, cut the eggplants in half and scoop out the guts. You don’t want the skin. In my opinion, it tastes 1000x better grilled. To grill, skin it first. Slice the eggplants into 1cm slices. Rub both sides with olive oil. Throw on a grill and let go until softish. Lately I’ve taken to grilling all my extra eggplant and saving it for baba ganoush every time we BBQ.
  2. Toast a fistful of pine nuts. I use about one handful per two eggplants. A handful is probably somewhere between a quarter cup and a half cup. My eggplants tend to be 6-7 inches long and 3-4 inches in diameter. An easy way to toast a small quantity if you have a toaster oven is just put them in the pan of a toaster oven and hit the toast button. In the heat of the summer, this is much nicer than toasting in the oven. Conveniently, a fistful is exactly enough to cover the tray in our toaster oven. You can substitute whatever kind of nut you want. Since a mashing step is to follow, I might loosely chop the nuts first if I were using something big like walnuts. I might not, because I’m cheap, so I’d probably just buy the crumbly walnut bits instead of the whole walnuts, but that’s beside the point.
  3. Garlic. I probably use half a head for two eggplants. Maybe more, if I’m in the mood. Use garlic to taste.
  4. Tahini. Add tahini to taste. I usually use about a quarter of a cup for two eggplants. If I couldn’t get tahini, I’d grind up a quarter cup of sesame seeds and call it close enough.
  5. Some kind of citrus: I use a goodly sized glug of lemon or lime juice.
  6. Herbs and Spices. I usually add a dash of salt. Sometimes I add lovage; it has a strong flavor but it is perennial so it’s always convenient. The recipes I originally saw called for parsley, but any leafy green herb would bring something to the dish. Last time I made it, I used basil because that’s what I had. Herb to taste.
  7. Blend/mash/smoosh the ingredients. I used to use a mortar and pestle because I lacked a blender and I could pretend it was exercise. I used to do it in a bowl with a potato masher, but the mortar and pestle give a much nicer texture. Now I’m really moving up in the world and have this exciting food processor attachment for my stick blender. It works really well.
  8. I’ve seen recommendations to drizzle olive oil over it when serving, but I’ve yet to be that organized.
  9. Enjoy.

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