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Baba Ghanouj

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Posted by Mariah | Posted in 21-Day-Adventure Cleanse, Appetizers & Sides | Posted on 03-01-2010

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Baba Ghanouj

When I first made this, I tweeted “Baba Ghanouj — where have you been my whole life?!” While I’ve always liked this creamy Mediterranean dip, for some odd reason I thought it was difficult to make. Wow, was I wrong! Not only is it easy to make, it’s much better than what I’d had in my favorite Middle Eastern restaurants!

Baba Ghanouj is quite similar to hummus, only instead of garbanzo beans, the primary ingredient is roasted eggplant. I guess this is why I thought “baba” was hard to make — dealing with the eggplant. But all you do is rub a little oil on the eggplant halves and roast them for 45 minutes (it would take much longer to soak garbanzo beans if you were so inclined). While the eggplant isn’t known for being vitamin rich, it still provides a good amount of fiber, folate, potassium, manganese, vitamin C, vitamin K, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic Acid, magnesium, phosphorus and copper — all while being low in fat and calories.

When making this recipe, I used a base recipe I found on Epicurious.com. Users had mixed reviews about the recipe, and what constitues a truly authentic baba ghanouj. To tell you the truth, I never found out. This recipe turned out so easy, creamy, garlicky and delicious, I decided to leave “yummy enough” alone. When serving it to my hummus-loving kids, I also left yummy enough alone and told them that it was hummus. They never knew the difference and gobbled it down.

Ingredients:

Two 1-pound eggplants, halved lengthwise
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
1/4 cup  fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. sea salt
Pinch of ground cumin

Roasted Eggplant

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.

2. Generously oil rimmed baking sheet.

3. Place eggplant halves, cut side down, on sheet.

4. Roast until eggplant is very soft, about 45 minutes. Cool slightly.

5. Using spoon, scoop out pulp from eggplant into strainer set over bowl.

Eggplant Draining

6. Let stand 30 minutes, allowing excess liquid to drain from eggplant.

7. Transfer eggplant pulp to processor.

8. Add tahini, lemon juice, salt, cumin and garlic; process until almost smooth.

9. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.

10. Serve with low-fat pita chips and/or fresh carrots, celery, broccoli and cauliflower. Or, serve as part of a Middle East Feast.