Inspired by friends, farmer’s markets and falafels, it’s a play on baba ganoush and its lovely ingredients. Something you can sink your teeth into, not just spread on a lucky slice of pita (though there’s nothing wrong with that!) There are so many different types of eggplants available, I urge you to try a type you’ve never cooked with before. Some may have more seeds, firmer flesh, or are green, pink, white, long and thin, maybe short and rotund. Eggplants are mixing it up and I like it.
Deconstructed Baba Ganoush
two large handfuls thai eggplants, or 2 medium-sized of the purple, larger variety
10 medium-sized garlic cloves with skin left on
1/2 lemon, cut into 6-8 wedges
1/3 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 garlic cloves, smashed
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon filtered water (more as necessary)
1 tablespoon yogurt, greek or plain (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
fresh red peppers/red pepper flakes
lemon zest/lemon juice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If using small eggplants, slice in halves or quarters, leaving skin on. If using larger eggplants, slice into 1-inch rounds, leaving skin on. Toss eggplant slices, garlic cloves and lemon wedges in a medium-sized bowl. Toss with a few tablespoons of olive oil until all pieces are coated. Place on a baking tray and sprinkle with a generous pinch of sea salt. Roast for 25-30 minutes until nicely colored. Meanwhile, make the tahini dressing. Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a food processor and let it blend. If the dressing seems too thick to drizzle easily, add more water. Place the roasted eggplants, lemon and garlic on your serving platter of choice, dress with the tahini sauce and sprinkle whichever garnishes you desire on top. If you’ve used the thai eggplant or a similar, small variety, the skins are sweet and tasty, so I very much recommend treating the garlic cloves, eggplant and lemon wedges as finger food. Serves 4 as a side.