I’ve been craving a good old summer Barbeque for quite some time now. Unfortunately for me, it’s still ridiculously cold here in Portland. And I’m pretty sure I haven’t seen a blue sky in over a month.
To keep from going winter-crazy, I’ve decided to make a delicious homemade baba ganoush – a cozy little eggplant dip whose smokiness reminds me of grilling in the outdoors but whose method is easily adapted to indoor cooking. I like my baba ganoush extra smoky so I begin by roasting the eggplants over the open flame of my stove-top burners before popping them into the oven to get soft and creamy on the inside. The now cooked eggplants are then pureed with lemon, tahini, garlic, and spices until they are silky smooth and then finished off with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of chili powder and some fresh cilantro.
It looks like I might have just a few more weeks (read: months) until I finally get my summer barbeque, but with this tasty treat in my fridge, I think I’ll survive 😉
- 2 lbs of eggplants (about 2 medium sized)
- 3 tablespoons of tahini
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil + more for drizzling
- ½ teaspoon of chili powder + more for garnish
- cilantro, for garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375.
Pierce each eggplant a few times all over. Place over the flame of a gas burner to char the outside for about 5-10 minutes, rotating as you go. The outside should be crispy and blackened at this point.
Line a baking sheet with tin foil, place the eggplants on the foil and roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes. You can tell if they have cooked completely by pushing a knife into the skin. If it gives resistance, cook for 5 minutes longer and try again. You want the eggplant to be fully cooked (soft) before removing from the oven and the time limit suggested is only a ballpark estimate. It depends a lot on how large your eggplants are so just be patient and keep a close eye on them.
Remove eggplants from oven once cooked all the way through, cut in half, and set aside to cool. While eggplants are cooling off, combine the remaining ingredients (except olive oil for drizzling, and cilantro) in a food processor or, if using an immersion blender, in a large bowl. Peel the eggplant skin and add the pulp to the food processor. Purée until silky.
Taste test and add more salt/lemon juice/chili powder, depending on your tastes. Drizzle with olive oil, cilantro leaves, and more chili powder for garnish and serve with toasted pita and dipping vegetables.
Notes: Recipe adapted from the one and only David Lebovitz.