Baba Ghanoush… or Ghanouj

by tgiffitness on September 25, 2012

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A few weeks ago, I was in the grocery store and passed by a display of gorgeous deep purple eggplants.  This is not a vegetable that we eat regularly, in fact, I don’t think I have ever cooked one… But during the summer, our friends grilled up slices of fresh eggplant straight from their garden and they were delicious! So I decided to be adventurous and pick up a tray of four small eggplants and attempt to replicate their recipe!

…But as most of my first time (exotic to me) vegetable purchases, the eggplants sat in the fridge for quite a while, and I lost the desire to cook these once fresh vegetables. I was disappointed in myself for letting food go to waste, but I had a craving for a garlicy spread (lol) so I decided to turn these eggplants into Baba Ghanoush!… or Baba Ghanouj… or any of the other possible spellings of the word, but you get the point.

Now baba ghanoush requires Tahini paste (sesame seed paste), which I didn’t have, but luckily I did have a jar of sesame seeds! Score! I didn’t have to make a second grocery store trip in order to make this recipe! Could be a first. I always seem to be missing at least one mandatory ingredient!

Tahini Paste

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Sesame Seeds
  • ~ 3 – 5 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil (add until you achieve the desired consistency)

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Spread sesame seeds on a baking tray and bake for ~ 5minutes. Toss Frequently. Don’t let them brown. (As my brother-in-law informed me, the seeds should sweat, not roast… otherwise they taste like fire. Blah)
  • Add the sesame seeds and a few tbs of olive oil to your food processor and blend until smooth. If the mixture is too dry, add a couple more tbs of olive oil until you have a paste-like consistency.

Baba Ghanoush

Ingredients:

  • 2 Small Egg Plants (or one large)baba ghanouj
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 3 tbs Tahini Paste
  • 3 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbs Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Additions:

  • 1 tbs Hemp Hearts
  • 1 tbs Ground Flax Seed
  • 1/4 tsp Chili Powder

Directions:

Preparing the eggplants:

  • Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F
  • Poke holes in eggplants so they do not explode in the oven
  • Bake eggplants for approximately 40 minutes
  • Rotate a 1/4 turn every 10 minutes
  • Cool for 20 minutes
  • After the eggplants are cooked, the skin should peel off relatively easily. If they are hard to peel, bake for another 10 to 20 minutes

Preparing the Baba Ghanoush:

  • Add all ingredients to your food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Transfer to a serving dish and set in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes
  • Garish with chili powder, extra oil, and or red pepper flakes if desired

ENJOY!

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