Best Baba Ghanouj

The ingredient list for this one is simple! It’s the slightly unusual method of preparation that makes it awesome. If you want a more Americanized Baba Ghanouj, where the eggplant contributes more texture than flavor, try “Good Baba Ghanouj.”

My thanks to the Hummus Blog for the detailed recipe and illustrations on charring the eggplant.

1 medium eggplant
1/3 C tahini
2 T lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Pita bread, crackers, or vegetables to scoop it up

In order to develop the real, complex flavor, you have to char the eggplant. There are several ways to do this:

On a gas stove burner
On an outdoor grill
With a propane torch

I used the gas stove burner. I put some foil around the burner to keep the mess to a minimum, fired up the burner, and then placed the whole, uncut eggplant directly on top of it. Using a pair of tongs and a spatula, I turned the eggplant every few minutes for about 10 minutes. The whole thing became black. Meanwhile, it was getting soft and cooked inside. When it was totally black and soft, I removed it to a bowl for about 20 minutes.

I came back, drained off the liquid, and using a combination of peeling and scooping, removed the insides to a cutting board. I chopped this with a knife, dumped it into a bowl, and stirred in the remaining ingredients. After that, I had to stop myself from eating it with a spoon.

Charring the eggplant over an open flame gives it a rich, complex smoky flavor. It is superior to just roasting it, and chopping the eggplant instead of putting it through a blender also gives a more sophisticed, artisanal result.

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