Posted on July 11, 2011
The garden is giving out personal eggplants. At least, they are on the small side—you couldn’t put them in your pocket—but you could maybe in your purse… I just was thinking how BIG everything is at the store. And then there are those small round “personal” watermelons I see at HEB. Not sure why we need those. I still couldn’t eat a whole personal watermelon, as it is about half the size of a regular oblong watermelon.
I think there is a conspiracy to produce very large specimens at the grocer. Small and sometimes odd-shaped is how things look when you grow them yourself, so be wary of larger-than-life poor tasting (but good looking) produce.
We have six eggplant bushes this year, thanks to my mom for making me plant in March!
I could go for some tangy nutty fluffy babaganouj—or babagannoush, or baba ganouj—does anyone know how to spell this dish? I have googled and there is no consensus. Please post your spellings in the comments! (With etymology if possible…). We ate this yesterday at Sandy Oaks. I have been eating this since I was a teenager, when I visited the Middle East. It is often second fiddle to hummus, but to me it is much more complex because of the main ingredient being vegetable, rather than a bean.
Spelling aside, this is a simple dish, and I imagine you could make it with a bean masher even. But tonight we are using the food processor.
I sliced two small eggplants in half long ways, salted them for a few minutes with some kosher salt, and then rinsed all the water and salt off. I drizzled some olive oil, and put them in the broiler for about 10 minutes. Then I flipped them and cooked them a few minutes more. They should be soft and easy to scoop out the seeds and flesh from the skin, which should have turned a sort of cloudy dark brown. No more shiny aubergine.
Let them cool, enough so you can touch them to do the scooping. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon into the food processor. Add ¼ cup sesame tahini, ¼ cup good olive oil (we are using Sandy Oaks Texas olive oil), the juice of 1 large juicy lemon, (or 2 small less juicy ones), 1 clove of garlic, and salt to taste. A little paprika is good on top, as a garnish. The key to the smoky flavor is the broiling. You could also grill the eggplants.
I like this dip with tortilla chips as much as pita. Do you make this dish? Do you add any special ingredients? What else can I do with eggplants? What are you growing in the garden?