Monday, September 20, 2010

When Life Gives You Eggplants...

... make Baba Ganouj. That's what I did this weekend with a couple of unexpected eggplants. I came back to work from lunch on Thursday to find a pair of small eggplants sitting on my desk. One of our sales dudes Mark acquired them from the folks at GrowMemphis, a local urban community gardening program.

I love eggplant, but I rarely cook with it. Not sure why. Honestly, I often just forget about eggplant. I have one recipe in my cookbook that calls for eggplant — my Creole Sausage and Eggplant Jambalaya. But I just made that a few weeks ago. I didn't have time for grocery shopping this weekend either, so my options were limited. But the eggplant was getting pretty soft and needed to be used quickly.

So I made Baba Ganouj, the one dish that I had all the ingredients for right in my pantry:

The roasted eggplant dip made a great snack with these homemade tortilla chips from Las Delicias. They sell 'em at the Memphis Farmers Market, and they're the best tortilla chips I've ever had.

By the way, Baba Ganouj always makes me think of that late 90s song by Nerf Herder, "Nosering Girl." You know:
"She was the kind of girl who you would give up eating meat for/ No more salami/ No more steak or potatoes/ Yea you would walk on down to the health food store and buy hummus/ and tabouli/ and baba ganouj/ and rice cakes, rice cake, rice cakes/ Nosering girl/ I love you."
Anyone else remember that song?

I adapted the recipe for Baba Ganouj from one I found in the Whole Foods iPhone app. Here ya go.

"Nosering Girl" Baba Ganouj
1 large or 2 small eggplants, peeled
2 Tbsp. tahini (I used Artisana raw cashini butter)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (from half a lemon)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Slice the eggplant into thick slices. Salt generously and place in a bowl. Cover and allow to sit for at least an hour. This draws out the bitterness. It's not totally necessary if you're eggplant isn't bitter, but I was warned that my eggplants would be slightly bitter.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Place the eggplant (don't rinse off the salt unless you think you've used too much) slices on the baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes or until tender.

Transfer to a food processor. Add tahini, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil. Process until fairly smooth, stopping once to scrape down the sides. After scraping down the sides, process again. While processing, you may want to drizzle a little water (from a few tablespoons to 1/4 cup) into the top of the processor for extra creaminess.

Serve with tortilla chips, pita bread, or raw veggies.


Dianne said...

I like the salting idea- bitterness is one reason baba ganouj scares me a little!

Millie said...

I love it sounds great and I will do this today with my eggplant....yummmmmmm!

Vegan In The VI said...

Relieved to hear you aren't wasting space in the book on Eggplant. Not a fan.

Eric said...

For some reason I have still yet to make Baba Ganouj.... Even when I had a giant eggplant. I need to get on this asap.

Leslie Richman said...

Yum yum yum!! I don't remember that song, but it's funny!!

LisaMarie said...

I still have a few eggplants in my garden. I gotta try this mainly cause I still haven't tried Tahini, cause I'm not sure if I'll like it? But this looks really yummy! and I love dips!

DionneRobertson said...

I LOVE eggplant!

Sarah S. said...


All about... (vegan) food said...

I'm not the biggest fan of Baba Ganouj but my husband loves it. Have to show him this post ;-)

Theresa said...

I made baba ganouj this weekend, too. It's a great dip, but one that I forget about most of the time!

dreaminitvegan said...

Your Baba Ganouj looks delish!

Sharan said...

I love the Whole Foods iPhone App :)

I love baba ganouj so I think this is a must try!

eeb said...

This was easy and very yummy!