Skip to main content

Babaghanoush - Smoky and Delicious

This is a traditional "mezze" dish. Mezze are small dishes that can be served for either lunch or dinner and can also be starters for a larger meal. I personally like to have 3 or 4 different ones and serve them as a meal.



There are many versions popular throughout the Middle East, but fundamentally most are quite similar. I like this one because it is smoky and richly flavored.

Ingredients

3-4 Medium Eggplants
2 cloves crushed Garlic
4 - 5 Tbsp Tahini
Juice of 2-3 Lemons
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. While the oven is heating, take the eggplants and prick them all over. This is essential so they will not explode when you cook them. Turn on a gas flame and brown the eggplant skin on all sides, turning them frequently. A pair of tongs makes this very easy. This will take about 5-8 minutes, but keep a close watch on them.

After they are well browned, put them onto an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and into the preheated oven for approx 45 minutes or until they are wrinkly and soft.

Take them out and allow them to cool. Then slice them in half and take a soup spoon and gently remove the flesh. Make sure to get all of the darkly colored flesh close the skin, as this is where you will get the smoky flavor. Make sure not to get any of the skin.

Put the flesh into the food processor and pulse and then add the remaining ingredients. Begin by adding the lemon juice, garlic and then the tahini a bit at a time. Finish with one tablespoon of the olive oil and the reminder of the olive oil can be poured over the top just prior to serving.

I prefer this after it has rested in the refrigerator for a few hours. Once it has cooled, taste again for salt and serve with warm pita bread.

Note: This dish is made by tasting, as some eggplants can be bitter and some less so. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Marlow and Son’s Butterbeans, Garlic Confit and Preserved Tomatoes

I first saw this recipe in Bon Appetit and was fascinated. It used interesting ingredients combined in a unique way and I had to try it. The recipe was given in response to an email from BA writer to Marlow chef Patch Troffer, but the recipe had no measurements and timing. After making it, I adjusted a few things and added quantities and timing and was very happy with the results. I ordered my dried beans from Rancho Gordo in Napa and they were excellent.

To make it spectacular, you really do need to make the garlic confit and preserved tomatoes. They aren’t hard to make, but set aside a bit of time. Make a full recipe and then use the rest for other dishes.
Garlic Confit
3 heads of Garlic, peeled and left whole.  3/4-1 cup Olive Oil  4 springs fresh Thyme  2 Bay Leaves 2 dried Chili Peppers

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and cook on barest simmer for 1-2 hours. (This broad cooking time is due to the fact that some garlic has more moisture than others). You’ll want the cloves to be s…

Norfolk Style Seafood

This is such a good recipe and so simple to make. The story behind this recipe is interesting. When I was a young boy, we used to go to a seafood restaurant in Washington DC called O'Donnell's. They had wonderful food, and most importantly, they had Buck.


Buck was a gentle giant at 6' 2" and was always talking to me about his recipe. He had invented this style of cooking seafood and had even developed special pans which could be used over open flame and then it could be delivered to the tables still sizzling. He was rightfully very proud of this. 


After being there quite a few times, Buck shared his recipe with me and told me to keep it a secret. Since this was over 40 years ago, I guess I can reveal it now. 


Ingredients

1/2 lb Shrimp, Jumbo Lump Crab or Langoustines, raw and shelled
2 Tbsp Butter
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
Dash of Old Bay Seasoning
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Few dashes of Tabasco
Splash of White Wine
Salt and Black Pepper


Heat your pan until fairly hot, then add butter an…

Golden Mountain Sauce

I love making Thai food at home, and I've always prided myself on getting that authentic Thai flavor, but if I’m completely honest, I have to admit it always seemed to be missing a little something.

Well, I have found out what that little something was. It's called Golden Mountain Sauce and it has been called the "secret of Thai cooking" and has been used in Thailand for over 50 years.

Use it as you would soy sauce, but mix it equal parts with fish sauce to get the real Thai flavor. Here is the perfect dish to try it out.

Gai Pad Prik Grapao/Chicken with Hot Chilies and Basil
Thais’ love fresh basil, and use many different types. Most of us are familiar with Sweet Basil, and this is easy to find in any market. However, it’s the “Holy Basil”, known as Bai Grapao, which is the most flavorful and authentic.
This basil has an anise type of flavor and gives this dish an amazing flavor and dimension that just doesn’t taste the same with sweet basil.
You should always use fres…