Baba Ghanouj (Eggplant & Tahini Purée)
The most important part of this dish is roasting the eggplant. You can do this on a gas stove-it makes a mess, but the flavor can't be beat. Other options are on a grill, under a broiler, or in a hot oven. The oven is least preferable because it can't give the eggplant the desired slightly charred flavor.
Serves six to eight.
3 lb. eggplant
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup tahini (sesame-seed paste)
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. kosher salt
To roast the eggplant, set each eggplant directly on the flame, grill, or grate. (If you're using the oven, set a tray on the rack under the eggplant to catch any drips.) The eggplant will start to crack and give off juices; it should become an ashy grayblack. Turn it as it cooks, but be careful-as it softens under heat, it becomes difficult to move without splitting. When the eggplant is charred gray and very tender all the way through, transfer it to a plate to cool.
Slice off the top of the cooled eggplant, and then cut it in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to carefully remove all the pulp, but avoid any bits of blackened skin. With a fork, stir the eggplant to break up large pieces and add the rest of the ingredients. Taste as you mix and adjust seasoning. Turn the baba ghanouj into a bowl and chill before serving.
nutrition information (per serving):
From Fine Cooking 10
, pp. 66
August 1, 1995