The eggplants have arrived!
Eggplants. They rock.
It took me a while to discover this. Mostly because of texture. An eggplant really has to be cooked down to its last dying breath before I want anything to do with it. Too few minutes in the oven and I might as well be chewing on a waterlogged Nerf ball. But those few minutes of cooking later and I’m feasting in eggplant heaven. And what better to way to pulverize an eggplant’s spongey texture than with baba ganoush.
First things first, roast the eggplant. I roasted it over the flame of my stove burner. This adds the smokey flavor that makes baba ganoush taste like baba ganoush. I roast it until it is completely mushy, practically falling apart. The softer you get it over the flame, the more buttery the puree will be. If you lack a gas stove, then it’s possible to roast in the broiler, but it won’t be as tasty.
Then I let the eggplants sit in a sealed tupperware for 15 minutes or so. The idea is to steam them a bit more and to allow them to cool down enough to handle. Resist the temptation to let them cool completely, because this too will result in a less smooth puree.
Once finished steaming I peel their purple skins off.
I put them (sans stems) in the food processor with tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper. I let it puree for a few minutes. The result should be smooth and fluffy. Taste for salt, because every eggplant is different, you know? From here you want to let it sit for a while in the fridge. 4 hours is sufficient, 12 hours is better. Think of it like a soup, it just needs a little time to have all of its flavors meld together. Right before serving I like to stir in some fresh parsley and top it with toasted pinenuts. No photos of that today though, because well, we ate it too fast. It happens.
BABA GANOUSH RECIPE:
2 medium or 3 small eggplants
1/2 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup lemon juice
fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1 tsp salt
toasted pine nuts