Friday, April 15, 2016

Homemade Babaganoush



eggplant dip baba ganoush


If you love eggplant and Mediterranean spices you'll love this flavorful Middle Eastern appetizer called babaganoush (or baba ghanoush or baba ganoush or babaganouj). You may have tasted this dip before in a Lebanese, Syrian, or Israeli restaurant. Although it sounds and tastes exotic, I promise it's very simple and easy to make this tasty recipe.

Baba ghanouj ( ganouj/ganoush)  is an Arabic name that translates to " pampered father". Legend has it that an elderly father needed his daughter to mash his food for him because he was without teeth and couldn't chew. Thus the daughter baked and mashed eggplant and called it " baba ganouj"

There are two methods to prepare this vegan dish. One is to bake the eggplant; the other is to char-broil the eggplant.The first method is delicious and has a mild taste. The second method is delicious and has a smoked taste. The remainder of the ingredients and processing is the same for each method. I will explain both ways.

This recipe is my friend Debra's recipe. Debra is thoughtfully conscious about serving something gluten free for me when I visit. She prepared this recipe for a recent women's gathering. I liked her particular recipe because it's made from real ingredients and is healthy, low calorie, and about 1 smart point per 2 Tablespoons!! Everyone at the gathering was impressed with Debra's culinary talents and were delighted with the taste.


Use 3 medium eggplants for the recipe

Eggplant is available year round, but this would be exceptionally good during the summer months when eggplant is plentiful and in season.

This dip can be made the day before and only tastes better the longer it sits.



Author: Gluten Free A-Z Blog ( Debra Grossman)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Recipe: gluten free, vegan, parve
Serves: 6

Ingredients:
3 medium eggplants
3 Tablespoons Tahini
Juice of 1 lemon ( we used Meyer lemon)
2-3 Tablespoons of garlic paste
Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon of cumin

Directions:

Method 1: 
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and pierce the eggplants with a fork in a few places. Cover two cookie sheets with parchment paper, place the eggplants on the cookies sheets, and bake for 45-60 minutes until the eggplants are soft and wrinkled. Slice open the eggplants, drain any liquid, scoop out the soft insides of the eggplant and place in a large bowl. Allow to cool. 

Method 2: 
If you choose to charbroil the eggplants, place on a gas grill turning them around until the eggplant skin is completely charred. It should take about 8-10 minutes. Slice open the eggplant, drain any liquid, scoop out the soft insides into a bowl and allow to cool. 

Place the metal blade into the food processor. Add the cooled eggplant,  tahini, lemon juice, garlic paste, salt, pepper and cumin. Process until smooth. 

Serve with gluten free crackers or crudite!







My Notes:

1. Passover? By all means make this delightful recipe for Passover if you are Sephardic. If you are Ashkenazic leave out the tahini, and it will still be good. Eat it with celery, carrots, and cucumbers. We have many travelers who attend our Passover Seders, so I like to put out a few appetizers out for them before we begin the seder to take off the edge. ( it's usually at least an hour or hour and half until we finally get to the meal). The recipe is vegan, parve, and light!

2. Weight Watchers? I already mentioned this delightful recipe is about 1 point per 2 Tablespoons of dip! With vegetables , it's a great snack. If you leave out the Tahini ( and you can) it becomes zero smart points! This dip would be perfect to bring to a party so you have something tasty, healthy and low calorie to nibble on. Make it the day before!

3. Does it freeze? I don't see why not - but I am going to have to try it. Perhaps I'll freeze the scooped out eggplant and wait to process it with the lemon, garlic, etc. the day I defrost it. Just a  thought!

4. Spelling?? There does not seem to be a standard way to spell this word! I've seen it spelled so many ways. I looked up Middle Eastern restaurants, checked their menu, and still found a variety of spellings. Pick any spelling you want- they all seem to be acceptable!



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