Baby Ghanoush with Roasted Garlic

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I tried for a REALLY long time to like baba ghanoush. In theory it always sounded good: yummy roasted eggplant mashed with garlic and spices — what’s not to love? I’d dip and I’d dabble here and there but never bought into all the hoopla. Until last night! Here’s the recipe that has me (and my adventuresome one year-old) totally and utterly hooked – or should I say dipped?

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 4-5 large cloves garlic, bruised and outer skin removed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 generous tablespoons of tahini
  • 1 heaping tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 heaping tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2-3 pinches smoked paprika (aka pimenton)
  • Salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste

 

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Using a fork, poke a few holes into the eggplant then place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Next, place the garlic cloves in a square of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Seal the foil up tightly and place it on the baking sheet too. Pop everything into the oven.
  • Check on the garlic after 25-30 minutes. It should be soft, fragrant and cooked all the way through; if so, remove it from the oven and set aside. Flip the eggplant and bake it for 20 minutes longer (total time about 45-50 minutes) or until the skin is blistered and the flesh is super soft.
  • Allow the eggplant to cool slightly then peel back the skin and scoop out the flesh; discard the skin and place the flesh into the bowl of a large food processor. Add the roasted garlic and its cooking oil, along with all the remaining ingredients. Process until smooth and creamy. Serve at room temperature.

 

My carb-loving daughter tossed the pita and crackers aside to devour 2 bowls of baba ghanoush by the handful. I was right with her. An excellent snack with pita, crackers, or cucumber, you can also use this as a fun dip to jazz up any main. Serve it with felafel or tofu fingers and your favorite veggie. The sesame paste (tahini) and seeds are a source of iron, calcium protein and fiber.

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