I have a confession to make. I eat a lot of hummus. The term ‘a lot’ probably doesn’t accurately depict the level of addiction I have to hummus. I’m embarrassed to admit that there have been weeks where I’ve eaten nothing but hummus for dinner. And lunch. I practically buy it in bulk . . . yes, this clearly garners a variety of questioning looks from the grocery store employees when I deplete their entire stock of Tribe garlic hummus.
Perhaps the biggest problem of all is that I don’t see this hummus addiction as a problem! Hummus is delicious, healthy, contains no weird chemicals or foreign substances and can stay in the fridge for weeks without going bad. It is a perfect, no-effort required meal!
However, there are times when too much hummus is too much hummus. My boyfriend’s mother recently asked me if I had ever made baba ganoush as an alternative to hummus. I’ve eaten baba ganoush at various Middle Eastern restaurants but I had never ventured to make it myself. Her suggestion inspired me to search around the internet for the easiest, tastiest, and most appealing baba ganoush recipe. Success!
This is a terribly simple recipe that is easily adapted to your personal taste preference. Unlike chickpeas, however, eggplant has a distinct, fairly strong flavor that isn’t easily overpowered by seasonings like garlic, lemon, and salt. You will taste the eggplant, trust me. The hardest part, if you want to call it that, is peeling the eggplant after it has roasted. The recipe said to scrape the insides out of the roasted eggplant, but I found it easier to peel the skin off.
Essentially, you just need to throw all the ingredients in a food processor or a blender and let it whirl until smooth. Feel free to add more spices if like it spicy. This is a recipe that begs to be played with! While I doubt that this will replace my hummus addiction, it’s a really delicious alternative.
3 medium-sized eggplants
1/2 cup tahini (roasted sesame paste)
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/8 teaspoon chile powder
a pinch or two of cummin
1 tablespoon olive oil
a half bunch picked flat-leaf parsley or cilantro leaves
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Prick each eggplant a few times, then char the outside of the eggplants by placing them directly on the flame of a gas burner and as the skin chars, turn them until the eggplants are uniformly-charred on the outside. (If you don't have a gas stove, you can char them under the broiler. If not, skip to the next step.)
- Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until they're completely soft; you should be able to easily poke a paring knife into them and meet no resistance.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Split the eggplant and scrape out the pulp. Puree the pulp in a blender or food processor with the other ingredients until smooth.
- Taste, and season with additional salt and lemon juice, if necessary. Chill for a few hours before serving. Serve with crackers, veggies or toasted pita chips.
* Baba Ganoush can be made and refrigerated for up to five days prior to serving.
Adapted from David Lebovitz