Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Baba Ghanoush -- Eggplant Goodness

Baba Ghanoush
Today was my day to help with refreshments for my Master Gardener class and I brought some of my favorite homemade, low-fat Baba Ghanoush, a Lebanese dip of eggplanty and herby goodness, which seemed popular with my fellow master gardening interns. I was concerned that the ranch-style, mayonnaise-based dip that usually comes with the grocery store's veggie tray couldn't be left out all day during the class, so this was perfect.

Baba Ghanoush is another one of those recipes that, with the exception of the time it takes to roast your eggplant, is light years better when you make it fresh and it is so fast to make. It's always a good sign when you get asked for the recipe, so here 'tis.

1 large eggplant or several small eggplants
1 minced garlic clove
Juice from half a small lemon
1/2 t. lemon zest
1 T. tahini (sesame paste)
1 1/2 T. olive oil
1 t. ground cumin
1 T. fresh parsley and more to garnish
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Poke holes in the eggplant with a fork about an inch apart. Roast the eggplant for 35 minutes, remove from oven and let cool completely, then remove stem and peel. Alternatively you could also use your grill and cook it until the flesh is tender and skin has turned brown.  My method of choice is roasting because of the rich, smokey flavor it imparts to the eggplant.

In a food processor, put the eggplant flesh, garlic clove, lemon juice, lemon zest, tahini, olive oil, cumin and parsley. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Garnish with extra parsley. Serve with vegetables or pita chips.

Today was my weekly Weigh Day, and I'm still stuck, stuck, stuck in a stall at 217 pounds, with 55 pounds gone. But I know staying the course will eventually get it going again. Hoping I'll make it to my goal of 215 by Easter Sunday. ;-)


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