So first there was delicious ice cream, and then there was mozzarella in carrozza with tomato jam. The third thing I made for myself when I was able to open my mouth and eat soft foods was baba ganoush. I had a lovely eggplant from the food co-op, and had just seen this recipe from David Lebovtiz. I figured it would be soft and delicious, and nothing like a fruit smoothie, which was really all I was looking for at the time.
roasted eggplant baba ganoush
This baba ganoush is incredibly easy to make. First, you char your eggplant over a gas flame, like you would roast a red pepper. Once the skin is all black and smokey, you roast it in the oven at 375˚for 20 to 30 minutes. The charred skin peels off easily, leaving you with plenty of eggplant pulp to puree with garlic, tahini paste, lemon juice, olive oil, a little chili powder, salt and parsley or cilantro. I used parsley because that was what I had, and I subbed in Smucker's natural peanut butter for tahini paste.
Since I was home on Long Island when I made this, I was able to use my mom's food processor, which I really appreciated. After roasting the eggplant, this came together in a snap! I know I really don't have a real need for one, and I definitely am running out of kitchen space, but boy would I like a food processor. So freaking useful!
I liked the baba ganoush. It had a nice, rich flavor that seemed almost meaty after a month on soups and smoothies. I was able to swallow small bites without chewing, which made it an ideal part of a post broken jaw diet. It was, however, thicker than I expected. Generally you eat baba ganoush with pita chips, and my baba ganoush definitely would have been too heavy to serve as a dip. However, it worked just fine for my purposes.
Even so, next time I make this, I will definitely try to achieve a more spreadable, creamy consistency. I am not sure how I would go about that– maybe more olive oil, or lemon juice? Actually, come to think of it, I'm not sure what the consistency of tahini paste generally is, but perhaps it is looser than the natural peanut butter I used. There wasn't much left, and as a rule the peanut butter at the bottom of the jar is very very thick, since the oil always floats to the top. So yeah, I guess the paste-like peanut butter could have something to do with the heavy texture of my baba ganoush. You live you learn.