Monday, September 16, 2013

What to do with Eggplant? Go Mediterranean!

Okay, let me first just say I am not a big fan of eggplant. I suppose it's because I have not eaten that much eggplant in my life. As a kid, just the name turned me off. But as an adult, I have tried it prepared in a variety of ways and I always seem to like how other people make it. I remember having an grilled eggplant burger a while ago that was fabulous. So a couple of weeks ago we got some eggplant in our box from SLO Veg and I totally ignored it. Well, actually, I sliced it, blanched it, and put in into the freezer. See it there in the photo? I never even gave it a mention!

Fork pricks to let off steam, ready to roast
Today I am making Eggplant Parmegiana with that frozen eggplant. The problema is, I now have another eggplant from our vegetable box delivery. As I browse through eggplant recipes: Moussaka, Parmigiana, Ratatouille, etc, I see one for Baba Ghanoush. I know I have had that at our favorite Mediterranean Cafe, Jaffa, in town and I liked it, so maybe I can make some. Lee would love it, I know, and it would make something good for him to take to work this week along with some pita bread. So while my breaded slices of eggplant are baking for the Parmigiana, I also put a whole eggplant on a pie plate, pricked it with the fork per the instructions below, and put it into the oven to roast.

OMG, as I am blogging I am also watching Giada on TV, and her show is "A Tour of Italy". Right this moment she is making a dish with eggplant where she roasts it and then makes little fried eggplant balls for an appetizer.  I am definately trying that with the next eggplant I get!

Wouldn't you know it! I have sesame seeds, but no tahini. I thought I had a little tube of it in the frig, but that is anchovie paste. Dang...I have to stop at the store.

Update: I mixed this recipe up sans tahini. It turns out it doesn't need it. The sesame seeds flavor it enough. I had to send a text to my husband: "Oh Dear! Hurry home. Just made fresh Baba Ghanoush. If you are lucky you will get here in time to lick the jar!"

Baba Ghanoush


Makes 1-1/2 cups
1 eggplant
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
  2. Place eggplant on baking sheet, and make holes in the skin with a fork. Roast it for 30 to 40 minutes, turning occasionally, or until soft. Remove from oven, and place into a large bowl of cold water. Remove from water, and peel skin off.
  3. Place eggplant, lemon juice, tahini, sesame seeds, and garlic in an electric blender, and puree. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer eggplant mixture to a medium size mixing bowl, and slowly mix in olive oil. Refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.
Roasted and peeled eggplant
Pureed eggplant
I made a jar full of Baba Ghanoush...not enough, but its a start!

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