I first remember tasting Baba Ganoush when I was about 7-years-old. Our neighbors in Brazil had Syrian roots and they were pretty much responsible for my first taste of Middle Eastern food. Birthday parties in their home were, in one word, scrumptious. Best of both countries. Baba Ganoush, Hummus, mini Kibbees, Dolmas, Brigadeiros (Brazilian chocolate fudge bites), and coxinhas (Brazilian chicken fried dumpling.)
I don’t think I tasted Baba Ganoush again until I moved to the States. Every time I eat Baba Ganoush I go back to my neighbors Claudia and Andreia’s birthday parties and Sunday suppers. I see their dad, Senhor Luis, in the kitchen mixing some Za’tar and proclaiming I would never taste anything like it.
I wish I could share this Baba Ganoush with Senhor Luis and tell him “thank you” for the delicious memories.
THE DEAL: I used 4 small eggplants (2 Casper and 2 Szechwan) from our garden for this recipe. It was the perfect amount and use for our fresh picked eggplants.
Roast the eggplant and garlic with the skin on. I dressed the eggplant slices with Trader Joe’s Pacific Smoked Salt and black pepper for extra flavor.
Add all the ingredients to the food processor. Since the eggplants were so tender I didn’t remove the skin. I used pure Tahini sauce and I needed to add a little water to the final mixture to thin it out a bit.
- 4 small Chinese eggplants or 1 medium regular eggplant
- 4-6 garlic cloves, peel on
- 3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice according to taste
- ¼ cup tahini sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt plus extra depending on size of eggplants
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil plus some extra for drizzling
- Pinch of paprika for garnishing
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Slice eggplants in small pieces. In a bowl, toss eggplant slices with salt and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Place it on a baking sheet along with the unpeeled garlic. Roast until tender, 30-40 minutes. Remove the eggplant and garlic from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing the garlic peel.
- Place the eggplant, garlic, tahini and lemon juice in a food processor and process until fairly smooth. Add the olive oil and salt and process it briefly. Scrape the mixture into a bowl, taste and add more lemon juice or salt to taste.
- With the back of a spoon, make a swirl in the top of the baba ganoush, drizzle olive oil in the swirl grooves, and sprinkle with paprika.
I’m going to spare everyone from the whole palate sensation description shenanigans. Next time I’m looking for an appetizer that is easy to make and delicious, I need to remember this recipe.
Fresh Blueberry Crostini with Lemon Honey Whipped Goat Cheese
Dominique for DealiciousCooking
- 30 slices French baguette bread cut in ½ in. thick slices (I used La Brea French Baguette)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 8 oz. creamy goat cheese room temperature (I used low fat goat cheese from TJs)
- 1 tbsp refined sugar
- ½ tsp of sea salt
- 3 tbsp of honey
- 1 tbsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 small box of fresh blueberries
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. Brush bread slices with olive oil and bake it until golden brown. I happened to have the grill on and I grilled the bread instead of toasting it. Either way works.
- In a separate bowl place washed and pat dried blueberries. Sprinkle the sugar and salt (yes!!! Salt) evenly. Reserve.
- In a medium bowl whisk together manually or with a had mixer the goat cheese, lemon juice and honey until fluffy.
- Assemble by spreading a little bit of the whipped goat cheese in each crostini (make sure crostini has time to cool off a bit) and top it with 2 or 3 blueberries. Add more whipped goat cheese if you have any left (or as many as you can make it fit).
This is an elegant, full of flavor and healthy dish. It may look difficult to make but it really isn’t. The thinner the zucchini slices the better. Don’t skip the salad. It compliments the Carpaccio really well.
For the Carpaccio:
- 1 large or 2 medium zucchinis
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Black pepper
- ½ of 1 small lemon (reserve the other half)
- 1-2 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons of crème fraîche
- 1 tsp of prepared Horseradish
Using a mandolin, a vegetable peeler or a very sharp knife if you have mad knife skills, slice zucchini into very thin rounds. Overlap zucchini disks in 1 layer on a plate; season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over the olive oil and lemon juice. Mix the crème fraîche with the horseradish. Taste it. Needs salt? Add some. More horseradish? More crème? Maybe a splash of lemon juice. Make it your own. Dress the Carpaccio with it. You can simply do it with a spoon or put the mixture in a small Ziploc bag, cut one end, squeeze and drizzled all over. Pretty! Oops, almost forgot…place some capers to finish.
For the Arugula Salad:
- 1 or 2 hands full of baby arugula
- Juice of the reserved lemon half
- Salt+pepper (you are on your own on that one)
- 1-2 tsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Toss ingredients all together with your hands (trust me on this one). Grab (yes, with your hands) some of the salad and place it in the top/middle of Carpaccio platter. Garnish with grated or shaved Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts. If you need to learn how to toast this delicious fatty little nuts just click here.
Sprouts; Organic baby arugula 2 for 5 and zucchini 88c lb.
Trader Joe’s has the best price on crème fraîche and they carry a pretty good prepared horseradish.
You can find all ingredients for this dish at Trader Joe’s.
Starters…Furikake rice balls with smoked salmon topped with wasabi aioli and Poke, my first time ever making this simple and delicious “Hawaiian pupu”.
Hawaiian dinner menu
Kalua pig “unda pressure” (let the pressure cook be the Imu)
Asian style salad with honey roasted macadamia nuts and shiitake ginger soy dressing