Friday, September 9, 2011

BBQ Baba Ghanoush

It feels like old times... up in the wee hours of the morning. Not working out. Blogging. This is my most productive time.

I am sure it has nothing to do with the fact that it's 5:00 in the morning. Noodle Nose and Honey are fast asleep, the dog isn't frenetically tearing down the hallway like a freak, the cat isn't demanding that he absolutely must sit on my hands whilst I type. I am also sure I am being sarcastic.

Thank goodness for me (or my productivity perhaps) that I'm the only one that likes to wake up before the crack for no particular reason.

That being said, Wednesday was CSA day! It's like Christmas. In September. On my list? Vegetables! Oh good. I got what I wanted.

We had some beautiful eggplant this week and I was in a dippy kind of mood so I decided to make a little summer style baba ghanoush. Baba ghanoush. It's dip made from eggplant, essentially. It's also known as a delicious, filling, healthy dip that can be paired with veg or carbs.

Traditionally, of course, it plays well with middle eastern yummies such as falafel, tabouleh, pita and hummus. I love middle eastern food. Strike that. I lurve it.


I also lurve this baba ghanoush. I got the original recipe from Tyler Florence. Not like, personally. But that would make a great story. Indeed I changed a few things and, of course, barbecued the eggplant vs. roasting or grilling. And it's awesome.

Beautiful and roasty from the eggplant's time on the grill. Garlicky, of course, and just bright enough, compliments of the parsley. It's super easy to make and replaces other less healthy dips.

Need:

1 bulb garlic (yes, the whole bulb. We're roasting) 4-5 roasted cloves will be used in this recipe
2 small to medium eggplants
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon (use the same lemon)
1/2 bunch, a loose 3/4 cup italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Sea salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
About 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, in Tablespoon increments

Ideas for serving:
Carrot sticks
Celery sticks
Cucumber slices
Pita bread

Do:
Begin by roasting your garlic bulb. You can also do this ahead of time. Often I roast several ahead of time if I know I will be using them.

Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees and tearing off a piece of aluminum foil large enough to wrap the bulb in.

Peel back the loose outer layers of the bulb skin but keep the tighter layers in tact. Using a knife, cut about 1/2 inch off the top of the bulb, exposing a bit of the cloves inside.

Place bulb on aluminum foil, drizzle with a bit of olive oil then tightly wrap excess aluminum around bulb. Place on a baking sheet and roast in oven for 30-35 minutes. Note: you can do several bulbs at once if you like. They make a fantastic appetizer and pair wonderfully with the baba ghanoush.

While your garlic is roasting, turn your barbecue on to med/high heat.

Pierce eggplants with a fork in a few places and drizzle eggplants with a bit of extra virgin olive oil. When grill is hot, place eggplants directly on grill. Allow them to grill, rotating as you go, until they shrivel and turn very soft. their skins will be wrinkly and charred.

Remove from grill and set aside to cool. You can help this process by slicing them in half lengthwise.

Once they have cooled, scoop out the soft inside and transfer to a bowl. You can throw away the outer layer.

In a food processor, combine lemon juice and parsley and pulse to combine. When garlic is finished roasting, add 4-5 of the roasted cloves to the food processor and pulse/blend until very smooth.

Add your eggplant, cumin, salt and pepper to the food processor and pulse to combine. While pulsing, stream in olive oil about 1 Tablespoon at a time until you get the right consistency. You are looking for a fairly thick puree with a little texture. Don't over blend.

Fold in lemon zest then taste your mix and add salt and pepper to your taste.

Serve:
Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with a few fresh parsley leaves, for added color. Pair with carrot sticks, celery sticks (great for scooping), cucumber rounds or pita wedges.

This dip is also great paired with falafel, tabouleh and hummus, as a full meal.


Enjoy!

2 comments:

  1. I had egglant on my shopping list and wasn't sure what I was going to do-- until now! Thanks for the inspriation. Hope all is well with you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yay! I'm so glad you got eggplant... it's really good! All is well with us. I hope all is well with you and your fam too. Thanks for posting :)

    ReplyDelete

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