Baba Ghanoush, Baby!

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A rich variety of eggplants (or aubergines for my European cousins) are making their presence felt at many farmers markets on the Central Coast, California. Usually it is only the robust High Bush Purple Back and their Chinese counterpart that fill the stalls. Recently, I've noticed new Thai varieties and pretty plump variegated Italian eggplants too. The consequence: All I have been able to think about is making, and, of course, eating Baba Ghanoush.

Baba Ghanoush is a super simple dish that has been enjoyed since the Byzantine period 330 AD, or roughly 1200 years ago which gives testament to the dish itself.  It is totally more-ish and utterly satisfying.  My infatuation with Baba Ghanoush is so great, I use it as a spread instead of butter.

The cheat for this week is… I bought a variety of baby sized “Fairy Tail” and cute tiny heirloom eggplants, this took the whole pre cook preparation of chopping out of the equation.  

This recipe makes about 3 cup of the Byzantine gastronomic treasure.

1 lbs  Aubergines
2 medium sized shallots quartered in skins
2 teaspoon of ground cumin
2 teaspoons of Coriander seed
6 Cloves of regular garlic ( 3 cloves of Elephant garlic) in skins
2 Tablespoons of your best local Olive oil
Salt & Ground black Pepper to taste.
3 heaped Tablespoons of Tahini ( sesame paste)
3 lemons / limes or a combo of both.
Flat leaf parsley to garnish
Optional: 3 drops of Doterra Lemon oil

Set your oven to 375ºF or 190ºC

Wash eggplants. If using the large heirloom or long Chinese eggplant, wash and chop into cubes of 4” square. I quartered the shallots leaving the skin on and tossed in the cloves of garlic in their jackets too.

Place eggplant, onion and garlic in oven dish or pan, pour over oil and turn to coat all. Add cumin, coriander seed, salt and pepper and mix again.

Place in over for 20-25 mins.

Now you have 25 mins to sing into your wooden spoons, or extendable faucet and pretend you are on set of “Bandits” (©MGM 2001) as Cate Blanchett in her model kitchen, with panoramic lake view, shaking the foundation of your home while re-enacting Bonnie Tyler’s record hit “I Need a Hero”.

Need a reminder here’s 2.60 mins to jog your memory click here 

Deepest Gratitude to MGM & MEGA Thanks to Gary Barber for bringing MGM back from the brink!

And back to the recipe...

After 20 mins your kitchen will fill with the sweet aroma of cumin, coriander and garlic. Those additional 5 mins will have everything sizzling and really browning off. The egg plant must be soft enough to mash with a fork, and the garlic should resemble toffee under a papery skin.

Allow ingredients to cool enough that you can de stalk eggplants by hand, if you took the cheat way in, it is still simpler than chopping. Remove onion and garlic skins. The eggplant stalk and caps should just fall away easily. Place the roasted vegetables into a your blender, and DO include the remaining oil from the oven dish.

Add Tahini ( sesame paste) and juice of two lemons or lemon lime combo,  as you wish. For Doterra lovers your Lemon oil works perfectly here. The flavor or the oil draws up on both the creamy attributes and the citrus lemons, it is totally indulgent and delicious aside the health benefits.

Blend for 1-2 mins until all ingredients are combined into a smooth paste with a dropping consistency, with a count of three. If the paste is too thick,  add more lemon juice and olive oil or 50 ml of warm water.

Place in bowl garnish with the juice of third lemon, black pepper and a sprig or a sprinkle of finely chopped flat leaf parsley.

Share during pre dinner drinks served with a side of chips, be they corn or Falafel, or sticks of your favorite vegetable (we like cucumber because its light flavor and crips bite off sets the creamy full flavors of the Baba Ghanoush).  Currently, we have “a thing” about “Flamous Organic Falafel Chips”  seriously good and seriously nutritious .And don't forget to try your Baba Ghanoush in turkey sandwiches poste Thanks Giving, go on, give the cranberry sauce a rest!

This dip will last 4 days in normal refrigeration, so you can prepare in advance and store. Bring to room temperature to serve.

FACTS: 1 cup of Tahini has 1024 mg of calcium ( that is roughly 3 Tablespoons)
              1 cup of milk has 305 mg of calcium
              The recommended daily dose of Calcium per day is 1000 mg.

 Thank you & Enjoy! 

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