August 7, 2013
My garden and I have been gearing up for a very special photo shoot— she looks so pretty! In order to show her off to the fullest, we let all the veggies ripen on the vine as long as possible to make for lots of color to photograph.
Borrowing an expression from my dad, I’m now up to my numb-nuts in eggplant. Post photo shoot, I have four varieties of these aubergine beauties busting out of my harvest basket.
What to do? Whip up some Baba Ganoush (how fun is that to say?). Normally, I just freelance when it comes to making this, roasting and throwing a bunch of stuff in the mixer— but that method does not a blog make. So, I grabbed a pencil and scribbled along as I made it and here’s an actual recipe.
It’s delicious, creamy and healthy. It’s terrific with flatbread, smeared on a cracker or on a mezze platter with raw veggies and other Mediterranean treats.
This dip is all about the wonderful taste of sweet eggplants roasted over a flame. If you don’t have a stove top roaster, try resting your eggplant and tomatoes right on your burner for anywhere from 5-10 minutes, turning with tongs to get an even char or try it on your BBQ.
1 pound eggplant, any variety—smaller ones are quicker to roast and more flavorful
2 small tomatoes, I like Early Girl
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 chile de arbol
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp sherry vinegar
Fresh basil, parsley or other summer herb, chopped
Top shelf olive oil
Roast the eggplants over an open fire until charred and soft. Place the eggplant in a bowl and cover with foil. Now roast your tomatoes. After the tomatoes are charred set them aside.
In a dry sauté pan toast the cumin seeds and chili de arbol until fragrant and toasted. Remove the stem of the chili, and pound the cumin and chili with a mortar and pestle until finely ground. To the mortar and pestle add the garlic and salt, pounding into a paste.
Peel the skin off the eggplants and drop them into a food processor along with the tomatoes (I keep the skin on the tomatoes to add a nice smoky flavor). Also add the paste and the vinegar. Pulse until desired consistency.
Garnish with a hefty sprinkling of summer herbs and a drizzle of your best olive oil. Serve.
This can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.