By Ippolita Douglas Scotti:
I like the word “babaganoush,” don't you? It fills your mouth just like the delicious ingredients it is made of—creamy eggplant with its smoky flavor along with aromatic spices and fresh herbs.
Babaganoush is a recipe with flexibility. You can add tahini if you want, but it's just as good without it. Mint and eggplants are wonderful together, but you can also use fresh parsley. There many variations: The Greek Melinzanosalata is similar. The Mutabal version is from Jordan. I've experimented with every version, and it is always reliably good.
This dip is healthy and has a strong personality. It tastes of ancient times, and I really like it!
Like the other dips on the Middle Eastern "mezze" table, Babaganoush is easy to make. Just make sure you give yourself time to bake, cool, and peel the eggplants.
If you want a strong, smokey flavor, grill the eggplants instead of baking them.
1 large eggplant 1 lemon 1 clove garlic 1 tsp Tahini
A pinch of cumin Sea salt
Preheat Oven 400°F.
Cut the eggplant in half and pierce each half with a fork for quicker cooking. Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until tender.
When the eggplant is done, peel it and add to a blender. Add lemon juice, garlic clover, cumin, tahini, and mint. Add salt and olive oil and blend until smooth. If you like your dip spicy, add chili flakes. If you want something more creamy and delicate, add a dollop of Greek yogurt.
For more classic "Mezze" dishes, try:
Contessa Ippolita Douglas Scotti di Vigileno is a true Italian—born in Florence, Italy, from a long line of eccentric Italian aristocrats, she has traveled the world in search of adventure, romance, and magical, mouth-watering recipes. "Ippo" loves Italian history, especially as it relates to food. Author of There's a Beatle in My Soup,Curcuma e Zenzero (Ginger & Tumeric), 101 Perche Sulla Storia di Firenze (101 questions on Florence History), and Superfoods, Ippo is currently finishing her latest work, The Lords of Florence (all published by Newton Compton Publishers).