Recipe by Geri by the Sea
In the Glebe district of Ottawa, some friends took me to a restaurant that served tantalizingly smoky baba ghanouj, and I tried hard to recreate it. I discovered at last that the secret to smoky baba ghanouj is in the eggplant skins :-) This one's special.
Top Review by mlomeister
Pretty good. I halved the recipe, omitted the tomato and soy sauce, and used e.v. olive oil, garlic and kosher salt instead. I had soaked 2 cloves crushed garlic in 6 tbsp olive oil, rubbed the oil over the scored eggplant before roasting, and used the excess garlic oil mix in the blender. I also turned the eggplant in the oven after 45 min. Thanks to MEAN CHEF's review, these changes punched it up a notch. Next time I'll add some kind of chili powder...
- 4 medium eggplants
- 6 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 medium tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
- 1 -2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 4 large red bell peppers
- pita bread (Optional)
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Take 4 eggplants of medium size.
- Chop off the hard top 1" of each eggplant, and then cut each eggplant in half.
- For each half, score the inside flesh- i. e. cut deep incisions 1/2" apart, lengthwise and widthwise
- cut deep incisions 1/2" apart, lengthwise and widthwise.
- Then turn the half over, and make several deep punctures in the skin of the eggplant.
- When finished, place the halves with the inner flesh facing upwards on a baking sheet (or two), and bake for 1 hour.
- I suggest keeping a window open during this time.
- After the eggplants have baked for an hour, take them out of the oven, and cut each half into six to eight large chunks.
- Then put all the chunks into a blender, and blend to as smooth a consistency as possible.
- Next add the following ingredients: 6 tablespoons of tahini (sesame paste), 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1/4 cup of fresh finely chopped cilantro, 2 tbs dark sesame oil.
- Blend again,'til you have a paste-like consistency.
- At this point, start tasting the baba ghanouj.
- The tahini gives a smooth texture and creamy taste.
- The lemon juice naturally makes the mixture tarter and wetter; so they balance each other out.
- If one seems to be dominating the mixture excessively, add a bit more of the other.
- The sesame oil adds moisture; you may want more or less of this.
- Here are some other ingredients I added and blent in, to achieve balance: 1 tomato (adds moisture and richness, without the calories of the oil; also makes it less smoky); 1-2 tbs soy sauce (adds saltiness) (go slowly with this; it's a strong flavor).
- So, taste it as you go and see what it needs.
- If you follow the amounts I've outlined here, you'll end up with something that tastes good.
- Next (or simultaneously while mixing): Cut the 4 red bell peppers in half, and place skin-side up under broiler for 10-15 min, until skin is half red, half black.
- Remove from oven.
- When cool enough to handle, place the red bell pepper halves skin-side-down on serving plates, and spoon a few tablespoons of baba ghanouj atop each.
- Garnish each with a sprig of cilantro atop the baba ghanouj, for prettiness.
- There will likely be baba ghanouj left over, so get some pita bread to make sandwiches.
- Or, make sandwiches in the first place, by slicing the red bell peppers up and putting those with the baba ghanouj inside of pita.