This is a traditional Middle Eastern recipe for baba ghanouj, a thick but light spread that is delicious as a dip for pita bread or vegetables or as a filling in a sandwich. Its distinct, nutty flavor comes from tahini, a sesame paste that is widely available in specialty stores and many supermarkets. Angelic Organics Kitchen (adapted from Fields of Greens).
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4–1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (1–1 1/2 large lemons)
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1–2 cloves garlic, minced (1/2–1 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
2. Rub 1 tablespoon of the oil over both whole eggplants and place them on a baking sheet. Roast, turning once or twice, until very soft, 30 to 45 minutes depending on size. Let cool.
3. Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a dry, heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat until they start to brown in spots and become fragrant. (Be careful not to overtoast them, as they will burn very quickly once toasted.) Immediately transfer the nuts to a dish to cool.
4. Cut the eggplants in half and scoop out the flesh. Purée the eggplant flesh in a food processor or finely chop it on a cutting board. Transfer to a bowl.
5. Add the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, cumin, salt, cayenne, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix until well combined.
6. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with cilantro or parsley and toasted pine nuts.
Excerpted from Farmer John’s Cookbook: The Real Dirt On Vegetables: Seasonal Recipes and Stories from a Community Supported Farm by Farmer John Peterson & Angelic Organics (Gibbs Smith Publisher). Check with your local farm or bookstore for availability. Additional recipes, charts, signed copies of this book, and quantity discounts available at www.AngelicOrganics.com/cookbook.