img_0429In the immortal words of Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast: “Try the grey stuff, it’s delicious! Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes!”

So okay, baba ganoush is totally not a fancypants French pate or whatever, but it IS super tasty and easy to make, and something I believe everyone should have in their arsenal.

The Goods:

Oil (This is one of those cases where you DON’T want extra virgin – it can get bitter in the food processor.  Go with a blend, or a not-virgin oil)
Salt  & Pepper
Lemon Juice

You definitely need a food processor or a stick blender.

The Method:

Cut your eggplant in half, lengthwise, and plop it cut-side-down on a greased pan (casserole dish, cookie sheet, whatever).

Bake it in a 350-ish degree oven until it’s super soft (this will take anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour change, depending on your oven and the size of your eggplants). Err on the side of overly soft.  Like, the skin collapses and the flesh is basically goo.

Let that cool.

Using your bare hands (or a spoon if you don’t much want to get that messy), scrape the eggplant goo out of the skins and into either a food processor or a mixing bowl if you’ve got a stick blender. Add some garlic, tahini (a little goes a long way!), some salt and pepper, a splash of lemon juice, and whiz away.  Once that’s pureed, stream in oil until you reach your desired dip/spread consistency. (Or alternate oil and water if you want to cut some of the calories)

… Yeah, that’s it. You can add some smoked paprika if you want to add an extra dimension, but I find that roasting the eggplant brings out some great depth of flavor already.

Enjoy with chips, veggies, pita bread, falafel, or on your salad or in a wrap… or if you’re me, you just grab a spoon and hope no one’s watching.