Baba Ghanouj

Baba Ghanouj is a roasted and mashed eggplant dish. There are countless variations, almost as many as there are spellings for this decadent foodstuff. Depending on what area of the world the chef that made it is influenced by will determine what style of Baba you will get. I learned to make it from a friend of mine, Asif, who is from Syria. Baba is popular is Arab countries throughout the Middle East. I have made Baba Ghanoush many, many times over the years, and it didn’t take me long to develop a recipe that balanced the flavors so well that Nik Wallenda would be proud. Some people prefer a little more of this and a little less of that, but in reality “there are no rules in cooking, just make it the way you like it!”
All kidding and bets aside, Baba is healthy, vegan, all natural, gluten free, mouth-watering, and best of all it’s EASY!
First you need to roast the eggplant until its soft. Leave the fruit whole with the skin on, brush with olive oil and roast it in 350 degree oven until soft and wilted. Yupp I did say “fruit”. Eggplant is technically a fruit because it has visible seeds. most people refer to it as a vegetable but to be correct it’s “a fruit that we eat as a vegetable”.

20130920-195212.jpgAllow to cool and remove the pulp and the juice from the skin. Discard the skin. Save the pulp and juice. The juice will impart a subtle smoky flavor and richness to the finished product.

20130920-195328.jpgSome people puree theirs, I like to mash mine and leave it a little chunky.

20130920-195627.jpgTake some diced white onions.

20130920-195845.jpgAnd minced fresh garlic.

20130920-200007.jpgBrown in heavy skillet in small amount of olive oil.

20130920-200055.jpg Toss in some diced tomatoes and continue to cook until tomatoes are “melted”.

20130920-200216.jpgAdd in the mashed eggplant pulp and roasting juice. Cook over medium high heat until oil and juice is absorbed into the dish.

20130920-200328.jpgToss in some diced fresh basil and scallions. Season with fresh ground black pepper and kosher salt.

20130920-200452.jpgReady to enjoy with your favorite bread, cracker, vegetable, pita, or chip.

20130920-200615.jpgRECIPE

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