The Hairy Vegetarian - What Does a Vegetarian Eat? Babaganouj
I love eggplant. And it’s a good thing. Since I do, I have a lot more options for eating at a restaurant, a diner, and at other peoples’ houses. One of my favorite eggplant dishes is the Middle Eastern dip, babaganouj.
2 rather large eggplants
2-3 chopped cloves of garlic
Sea salt to taste
1-2 T. tahini
Juice of 1-2 limes or lemons
Extra virgin olive oil
Take two purple eggplants of about the same size. Wash them. Take a fork and stab through the skin, straight in, about twelve times all over the eggplants. This is an important step because once the eggplants get hot, they could explode if you don’t prick them to allow the steam to escape. Put them on a medium hot grill. Watch them, and turn them each time the down side turns somewhat black and gets grill groves on it. You want to cook the eggplants evenly on all sides. Once they start to soften, you should be able to position them on the grill on various sides to ensure that they cook through evenly. Once they are somewhat soft, with no hard spots anywhere, take them off the grill with tongs and put them into a bowl. Let them cool until you can take them out of the bowl with your hands. Don’t let them get cold. They should be fairly warm.
Cut off the top part of the eggplant, the stem and surrounding leafy cap, and discard. Then cut the eggplant lengthwise and open up so that the flesh is facing up. Be careful, because steam may shoot out of the eggplant. Cut each half in half lengthwise again, and allow them to cool until they are easy to handle, but still warm. Peel off the skin and scrape the flesh away from the peel with your thumb. Put the flesh into a bowl and discard the skin. Don’t worry if little bits of the charred skin remain with the flesh. It adds a smoky flavor.
Place the flesh in a food processor along with two or three chopped cloves of garlic, some sea salt, one or two Tablespoons of tahini, and the juice of one or two lemons or limes, and momentarily engaging the pulse button, just chop up the flesh. Don’t leave the blade to rotate much so that the flesh doesn’t turn into a whip or a paste, but remains chunky. Place the mixture in a bowl and pour some extra virgin olive oil over the top. Scoop with bread, chips, crackers, tortilla chips, sliced peppers, sliced cucumber, or leaves of Belgian endive.