Recipes, Sides, Snacks

Barbara Bush aka Baba Ganoush

My daughter calls this, ‘Babara Bush.’ Apologies to my American counterparts.
‘Aubergine’ sounds much more romantic, to me, than ‘eggplant.’

If you have a barbeque, it is best to grill them but if you are a New Yorker, like me, you’ll probably have to use your grill or broiler. The man who runs our local Lebanese shop Babaganoushsuggested holding them above the flame of your cooker – after you have lain down some protective silver foil – and blackening the skins that way. It does blacken the eggplant/aubergine very nicely.

This has been adapted from a recipe, modestly self-titled the ‘best in the world.’ I actually agree with one of the comments – next time, I’ll try adding the aubergine last, so you get those lovely chunks. Otherwise, you get a smooth paste. It is quite delicious!

1 medium aubergine (aka eggplant)
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2  garlic cloves, peeled & crushed
salt to taste

Grill the aubergine until the skin is charred and blackened. This takes about 15 minutes, depending on proximity to the flame. Take care not to burn your fingers!
Roast at 375 degrees F (190C), for 15-20 minutes. Until soft but not flat-out mushy.
The next stage is to peel off the skin, but I use this technique: Once blackened, carefully remove aubergine from the grill and place in a plastic bag. Seal bag, place on a plate and put in the fridge for a few minutes, until the vegetable cools down. Once this has happened, remove from the bag. The skin should peel off pretty easily by now. If any pieces stay stuck, don’t worry – it’ll add to that ‘smokey’ taste.

Place the aubergine in your food processor and quickly whizz. Add the remaining ingredients. I would add the lemon juice and tahini in stages, until you get the exact taste you desire. Finally, add salt. If you desire, you can throw in some cumin, but I think it’s fine as it is.

Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle chopped parsley and dot with olives.

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