Monday, October 31, 2011

Baba Ganoush

Did I mention that I hate eggplant?

The thought of the mushy, seedy, watery vegetable in fridge was making me a little queazy, honestly.  But I bought it, so I had to cook it.  I decided to go with the camouflage technique and try to put it into some unsuspecting hummus.

I've tried to make hummus before and haven't been very successful.  It never tastes quite right.  And I didn't expect it to this time, either.  I could have sworn I had tahini (sesame seed paste) in the house, but I didn't.  So I had to sub-in peanut butter, which just seemed weird.  I added a little sesame oil to make up for it.

An in-auspicious start when collecting up ingredients.  My hopes were not high.

I first cut the offending eggplant in half and put it in the oven to roast at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

Then, I drained and rinsed some organic canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans).  I whirred them up with some water in the baby-food maker, and promptly put half the batch into three little containers for the baby.  It's nice to be able to cook for everyone at the same time!

I put the remaining chickpea puree into a bowl, and then added about a tablespoon and a half of natural peanut butter, a dab of sesame seed oil, about a 1/4 cup of olive oil, a teaspoon of garlic, and the juice of one lemon.  Then I snipped in some fresh parsley.  I whirred it all up.

When the eggplant was finished roasting, I took it out of the oven and cut it into chunks to cool.  [I planned to use the eggplant skins, as I understand they have disease-fighting properties.]

I whirred the chunked eggplant up with some water and then added the eggplant puree (which bore no resemblance to the seedy mess it started out as) to the chickpea mixture.  I stirred them together with a spoon, tasted, and decided to throw in a pinch of salt.

Voila!  A light and airy version of hummus that is excellent served with an extra drizzle of olive oil and a dash of paprika.  It was pretty good in its own right (if maybe a little peanutty), but not great compared to Lebanese-restaurant hummus or baba ganoush.  As I expected, unfortunately.

But the eggplant has been cooked and is surprisingly edible, so it's a win!

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