Eggplants / Aubergines (Solanum Melongena) Eggplants / Aubergines
(Solanum Melongena)
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Church and Sunset, Thira, Santorini, Cyclades, Greek Islands, Greece, Europe
Church and Sunset, Thira, Santorini, Cyclades, Greek Islands, Greece, Europe
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Baba Ghannouj

Saveur Archives

2 pounds eggplant
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large clove garlic
Coarse salt
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place eggplants on a well-oiled sheet pan
and pierce lightly on all sides with a small knife. Bake until soft, about 30
minutes. (For an attractive smoky flavor that will add complexity to the finished dish, grill the eggplants on a barbecue or sear them on a very hot,
lightly oiled griddle, cooking until their skin wrinkles and takes on a bronze
tone. If not cooked through finish in a 350-degree F. oven about 10 min-
utes.) Allow the eggplants to cool enough to handle, then cut them in half
lengthwise and scoop out their flesh with a spoon. Set the scooped-out
portion aside to cool and discard skin.
Place cooled eggplant in a clean thin kitchen cloth or several layers of cheesecloth. Squeeze to remove excess moisture and bitter juices. Set
aside in a large sieve or colander to drain further.
Finely chop garlic, then crush it into a paste with 1 teaspoon salt. Place
in a food processor, add tahini and lemon juice and process until the
mixture thickens – then thin again slightly with several tablespoons of
room-temperature water. Add eggplant flesh and remaining olive oil to
processor and pulse several times to make a thick, coarse purée. Season
to taste with pepper, adding salt if necessary. Serve in a bowl garnished
with either parsley or coriander. Serve with toasted pita chips. (Cut pita
into wedges, brush with olive oil, salt to taste, then toast lightly in the
oven.) Makes 2 cups.

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