Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Oh Baby! Oh Baby! I'm Baba-Ghanouj Crazy!

I'd be lying if I said eggplant and I go way back. We DON'T. It's as simple as that. I went through two whole decades of my life eggplant-free.

And then I tasted baba ghanouj. 

Seriously, how could I have been so stupid? Baba ghanouj is like a Mediterranean vacation for the taste buds! When you take a pita chip and swirl it around in this stuff, it transports you to Europe, to the edge of the blue-green sea, surrounded by picturesque whitewashed buildings.

(This is as close as I'm getting to Greece at the moment.)

From afar, maneuvering an eggplant in the kitchen can seem slightly intimidating, but believe me, this recipe is a cinch. It's also seriously.... seriously (did I mention seriously?) delicious!

Shall we get started? 

I received a very large eggplant from my CSA and decided it was destined to become baba ghanouj.
Turn the oven to broil. While it warms up, poke lots of holes into 1 large eggplant with a fork. Go crazy! It'll help it cook more evenly.
Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Coat a baking tray (or cookie sheet) with a thin layer of coconut oil and place the eggplant cut side down.
Broil for 15-20 minutes until the body of the eggplant starts to collapse and a fork pierces the skin evenly. Remove from the oven and let cool 1 hour.
When the eggplant is almost cool, get your other ingredients together - 3 cloves of smashed garlic, 2-3 Tbs. of fresh lemon juice (approximately 1 large lemon) and 1/4 cup tahini.
Once cool, scoop the inside of the eggplant into a food processor or blender. Discard the outer skin.
Add the garlic, lemon juice, tahini and a sprinkle of black pepper and blend until smooth.
Now grab your seasoning: chili powder (optional - for those who like a hint of spice), black pepper and course sea salt.
Season to taste and drizzle with a bit of olive oil (I highly recommend chipotle olive oil if you have it). Blend a bit more to combine.
Wash and chop a few sprigs of parsley and mix in with a spoon. Save a sprig to garnish.
Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle a bit more olive oil on top, sprinkle with paprika and garnish with parsley.
The perfect fall snack!
Armed with this recipe, it won't be hard to convince your family and friends to eat their veggies! Plus, eggplant has amazing health benefits that you can read all about here

Happy munching! 

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