Sunday, August 14, 2011
RECIPE: Smoky Baba Ganoush
For those of you out there who (understandably) refuse to turn their oven on right now, try out this recipe for Baba Ganoush. It tastes like the eggplant has been roasted, but can be done on the stove.
2 tablespoon smoked olive oil (or use 2 tablespoons regular olive oil plus 1/2 teaspoon mild smoked paprika)
2 tablespoons tahini
3 quartered garlic cloves
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.
As in the picture above, wrap 3 medium eggplants in triple layers of aluminum foil. It's important they are sealed--and again and again--to make sure every drop of moisture stays inside, thus creating a little steam oven. Plus, the eggplants will split and burst over the heat, so they need to be "contained." Set the foil packet directly over a medium flame on top of the stove and leave it be for 20 minutes, turning once, until the eggplants inside are quite soft.
If you don't have a gas burner on your stove, use a medium-heat flame on the grill outside for about the same time, turning once. Or set the packet on a lipped baking sheet in a 450F oven for about 40 minutes. However, if you use the oven, you'll miss some of the smoky taste.
Remove the packet from the heat and cool for a few minutes. Carefully unwrap it--the steam is still ridiculously hot!--and slice the eggplants in half lengthwise. Set them cut side down in a colander set over a bowl to drain a bit--perhaps for 10 minutes. This will help the baba ganoush stay creamy without being watery.
Cut off the top knot from each eggplant, then set it flesh side up on a cutting board and scrape out the inner flesh, leaving as much of the peel behind as you can. A flatware knife works best--a paring knife or kitchen knife is too sharp and will shred the peel as the flesh comes off it.
Why leave the skin behind? It does indeed have some smoky taste, but it will also make the baba ganoush too gelatinous. By the next day, the stuff will be like Jell-O. And since these are make-ahead salads this week, they're all about "the next day."
Scrape the eggplants' flesh into a food processor fitted with the chopping blade.
Add 2 tablespoon smoked olive oil, 2 tablespoons tahini, 3 quartered garlic cloves, 1tablespoon sherry vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper.
That's it. Whir it up and scrape it into a bowl or sealable plastic container. Once again, it'll stay four or five days. And a spoonful next to a crunchy salad is a thing of beauty!