Baba Ghanoush (Mediterranean Eggplant Spread)

This is a delicious Levantine staple, commonly served with pita bread as an appetiser or meze ('starter'). Here, eggplant is the star, along with other fresh and simple ingredients that should be easy to find. The traditional preparation calls for the eggplant to be baked or broiled over an open flame before peeling, giving the pulp a soft and addictively smoky taste. Enjoy this on its own, or as a creamy, smoky addition to other Middle Eastern or Mediterranean entrees.

Ingredients

1 large eggplant
½ cup lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup tahini
Salt to taste
Parsley, finely chopped for garnish
Olive oil
Cayenne pepper

Directions

  • Roast eggplant in an oven heated to 200°C/390° under the grill until the skin is charred.
  • Take out of the oven and place in a plastic bag for 20 minutes, until it’s cool enough to handle.
  • Peel the eggplant and place the flesh in a bowl. Mash a little with a fork.
  • Add lemon juice, garlic cloves, salt, and tahini, and mix well while mashing with a fork.
  • To serve, spread on a plate and garnish with parsley, olive oil, and cayenne pepper. Goes well with pita bread or crackers.
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