Michael and I have been slowly, but surely, making our way around the restaurants and coffee shops in our neighborhood. The process has been embarassingly slow, since most of the time, we prefer to head to other neighborhoods in Manhattan or Brooklyn. However, one Turkish place has quickly become one of my favorites for it's extra smoky baba ganoush and its soft, charred flatbreads, fresh out of the wood fired oven.
This recipe is from David Leibovitz, whose recipes I consistently trust. I've modified it just a bit to suit my taste and not make such a large quantity. I would recommend, if making this for a crowd, to make it one day in advance. Letting it sit in the fridge overnight just deepens the flavor.
Baba Ganoush recipe (adopted from David Lebovitz):
- 2 medium sized eggplants
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/8 tsp chile powder
- 1/8 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- (optional) parsley and/or cilantro to garnish
First, preheat the oven to 375F.
If you have a gas stovetop, take off the grate and line it with foil. On the gas range, lay the eggplants directly on top until the skin chars. Turn them as their skin starts to burn. (It's difficult to see at first, since eggplants are so dark anyways, but eventually, it will start to blister and peel). When they are sufficiently burnt, toss them onto a baking sheet, cut them open slightly (to allow steam to escape), and roast them into the oven for another 30 minutes. They should be completely soft and not watery.
Take them out of the oven and while you let them cool, take out your food processor.
Scrape out the inside of the eggplant as best as you can. Add this to the food processor along with the garlic, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, salt, chile powder, and cumin. Puree until smooth. Taste this and adjust seasonings if needed.
Serve, drizzled with olive oil and additional herbs or salt. Refrigerate for up to five days.