Recipe: Baba Ghanoush

For years, I’ve been somewhat of a hummus-making expert, but for whatever reason, never tried my hand at its close relative, baba ghanoush.

Something made me change my mind though, recently. I’m not certain what exactly gave me the idea to make it, but I think it was a mixture of being totally bored during the boyfriend’s absence for most of March as well as being surrounded by wonderful looking eggplant at produce stands and grocery stores and outdoor markets throughout the city.

Because it’s not a particularly unique or tricky recipe, I simply took one from AllRecipes, which is a relatively basic and reliable recipe site. The only substitution I made was using peanut butter instead of tahini, because I didn’t have any of the latter on hand. Honestly, it turned out good, but I think the tahini would have been better. I also didn’t use sesame seeds and am pretty certain the recipe would be just fine without.

Directions:

-Lightly grease a baking sheet and place 1 whole eggplant on it, first poking holes in the skin with a fork (to avoid it exploding in the oven, which it can and will otherwise do).

-Roast the eggplant for 30 to 40 minutes at 400 F (~205 C), checking in a few times to turn it.

-Place the eggplant in a bowl of cold water to cool. Then remove and peel off the skin; the insides will be somewhat mushy and hot.

-Puree the eggplant along with 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup tahini, 2 tablespoons sesame seeds and 2 cloves minced garlic.

-When blended to the desired consistency, add salt and pepper to taste, and mix the baba ghanousch with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil.

-Refrigerate before serving.

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