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.