Appetizers and Snacks

Baba Ghanouj

Yes, it sounds very exotic, but really, it is just eggplant and a few other  ingredients you probably already have in your fridge.   It is simple to make, and makes a nice addition to your appetizer table.

There are as many versions as there are cooks, but all I have found include eggplant, tahini, garlic, lemons and salt and pepper.  I make a slight departure from the norm, using lime juice instead of lemon because I like the stronger flavour of the lime .

How you cook the eggplant to make this fab dip is up to you.  We like the smoky flavour we get from burying it in the hot coals remaining after we have grilled our dinner. (Thanks to Bon Appetite for giving us this idea!)  We let it sit for about 20 minutes, until it is a soft blackened mess.  We have also had success roasting it whole, in a 450 F  oven 15 – 20 minutes, until the skin is charred and the eggplant is soft.    I am sure a gas grill would work as well, but we have not tried it this way yet.

However you choose to cook your eggplant, once it is cooked, how you handle it is the same.

Baba Ghanouj

(Optional title: OMG, I finally found a way to fix eggplant that Kevin likes!)

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1 medium size eggplant (about 1/2 lb)

1/2 teaspoon canola oil

3 Tablespoons Tahini

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 – 2 Tablespoons lime juice  (about 1 large lime)

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

salt and pepper

Rub eggplant with Canola oil and bury in the hot coals in your bbq or campfire, until blackened and very soft 15 – 20 minutes (alternatively place it in a 450 F oven and bake 20 minutes) .  Carefully remove from coals (or oven) and allow to cool.

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Scoop cooled eggplant out of peel and into a fine mesh strainer.  Sprinkle with a little salt, mix up a bit and let drain for up to an hour.  Discard liquid.

Put eggplant, tahini, garlic,  and lime juice  into bowl of food processor and pulse until smooth.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Put into serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle red pepper flakes over.

Serve with fresh baguette slices, pita toasts, crostini or fresh veggies for dipping.

Makes about 1 cup, can easily be doubled.

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