I make lists of recipes; plural being the key to that statement. I make lists of things I would like to make in order to possibly post them on my blog. Then because I have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) tendencies, and generally like to nerd out with food and my blog, I often break my lists down into months or seasons. Subcategories arise depending on what is in season, and where I can cook (inside or outside the house) and I make a separate list of recipes if I don’t have the proper appliance or an ingredient on hand to make the food.
If that confused and/or exhausted you it boils down to things I like to make at the end of the Summer like baba ghanoush. Eggplants usually start their season the end of July and continue through until October. For me Eggplant season is Septemeber because its not quite apple/pumpkin/squash season and some years it’s still too hot to get my oven ready for pies, tarts and other roasted and bakes treats. Plus I still use my BBQ in the fall and grilled eggplant is the start of many a good thing.
If you don’t know what baba ghanoush is, it’s a really easy to prepare, healthy dip. Some people may be more familiar with the grocery store dip (mayo based) oppose to a more traditional vegan version. It’s a creamy, smoky and slightly garlicky dip good with pita, fresh veggies and grilled bread.
- 1 medium-large eggplant, barbequed with the skin on
- 1 small clove of garlic, minced
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 2-3 tbs of tahini
- 1 tbs of olive oil, extra for garnish
- 1 tsp of smoked paprika, plus a pinch to garnish
- salt to taste
Preparing the eggplant.
I find the easiest and mess free way is to BBQ the eggplant on tin foil. Wash the skin, prepare a piece of tin foil with cooking spray or oil and place eggplant on top of the foil on a medium hot grill. It needs about 5 minutes per side, provided you count 4 sides. The skin should char and the eggplant should deflate and be easily pierced with a fork. When it is cooked remove from the grill and loosely wrap the tin foil around the eggplant, creating a tent. Let the skin steam for easy removal later. I like my baba ghanosh cold, so after it comes to room temperature I through my eggplant in the fridge overnight and made the dip this morning.
Remove the top stem from the eggplant with a knife and either cut directly in half and attempt to scoop the flesh out.
Or you can remove the stem and using your fingers, gently peel the charred skin from the outside of the fruit. If a little of the skin makes it into the eggplant mixture it just adds a smokier flavour. Set aside.
In a food processor add a small clove of garlic to mince. Add in eggplant, lemon juice, tahini, smoked paprika and olive oil and process until smooth. Season with salt and serve at room temperature or cold. I like to top mine with more olive oil and smoked paprika or cilantro and green olives.