Friday, May 29, 2009

Silky Spring Baba Ganoush

We went to little India last weekend, and I couldn't resist buying some of my favourite kind of eggplants – beautiful purple little baby ones like these. I got hooked on these back when I was working in the Granville Island Public Market. We'd get all kinds of eggplants flown in from India and Thailand, and these ones became part of my regular repertoire when someone told me they were perfect roasted and blended into baba ganoush.

Done this way, their flesh is silky, pillowy soft, with a warm smokey flavour. Heaven. Blended with lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, basil, and a few spices, it becomes a dip so delicate and delicious that I want to just slurp it off a spoon, no crackers needed. It is delicious with pita though, or veggie sticks. I'm dipping some yellow and orange pepper slices into it right now, making this perfect sunny Friday afternoon even more perfect...

Spring Baba Ganoush
10 baby Indian eggplants (the ones I used were 2–3 inches long)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic
generous glug of olive oil
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp smoked paprika
Fresh basil to taste (I used two stems picked from the little pot on my windowsill, about 10 large leaves)
salt and pepper to taste

Use a fork to pierce the skin a few times on each eggplant and then wrap each eggplant individually in foil. Roast eggplants in 450 degree oven until they are softened to the point that they collapse when you squeeze them softly (about 30–45 minutes, depending on size of eggplants).

Remove foil and plunge the eggplants into a bowl of ice water. Peel the skin off and cut off stems. Put eggplants in blender or food processor and add remaining ingredients. Blend until super-smooth and silky.


Anonymous said...

Talk about deja vu (sp?) I just put an eggplant and red peppers in oven to roast before opening this. It's a regular eggplant though because I wanted organic. I also added asparagus and cauliflower all based on your instructions last week when you were here. Fingers crossed. Only used walnut oil not all the spices though.

Anonymous said...

This sounds amazing and delicious, and I have been considering eggplant. Last week I made skordalia in a bit of a dip fit - garlicky, lemony, cold, and perfect for a summer evening when you've just worked too many hours in too many stifling degrees.

Thanks for this - it may become a part of my repertoire as well.

Anonymous said...

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