i do not experiment with eggplant much and think it is because while in college, my sister and i would purchase these beautiful little eggplants from our local farmer’s markets and had no idea what to do with them. now anyone can go online and find every possible cooking method for an eggplant. in college, 20 years ago, we did not have computers in our apartments. they were in the classroom. this gives me total respect for our grandmothers who had to truly experiment. with this said, eggplants are totally fun to work with (now) and this is probably because the internet is in my own kitchen offering me many solutions and alternatives to kitchen disasters . this baba ghanouj recipe has a subtle tahini flavor along with the lemon and garlic, and is mellow enough to enjoy the eggplant. this recipe is nice and simple.
1 large or 2 small (about 1 lb) eggplant, halved lengthwise
1/4 cup tahini
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbs plain yogurt
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 c parsley leaves, coarsely chopped, and more for garnish
juice of one lg lemon
1 tsp sea salt
preheat the oven to 375 degrees. drizzle the cut side of the eggplant with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with some kosher salt. lay the eggplant on cut-side down on a foil lined baking sheet. be sure to pierce the skin side of the eggplant several times. bake the eggplant until soft and beginning to collapse. this could take 20-30 minutes. the size of eggplant may increase cooking time.
remove from oven when the eggplant is collapsed and soft to touch. the flesh should be able to be scooped from the skin with little effort. when cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh out of the eggplant out with a spoon into a blender. discard the skin. add the tahini, garlic, yogurt, parsley, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and salt. puree in the blender slightly for a chunky texture and puree more if a smoother mixture is preferred. do not add the parsley. once blended, add the parsley and combine. place the baba ghanouj in a serving bowl and sprinkle with remaining parsley and drizzle slightly with the extra virgin olive oil. serve with toasted pita bread or crackers.