The other day I received two bags full of eggplants from a friend. I decided to oven roast all the eggplants so I could then use them in recipes later in the week. I used to not like eggplant. Once I started oven roasting it, I fell in love with eggplant. Roasting eggplant gives it a wonderful new taste that is not bitter. Another tip to great tasting eggplant is selecting a small one. The bigger eggplants tend to be bitter, so when selecting your eggplant choose a small one As I was chopping all the eggplant, my creative juices were flowing as I was deciding how to use it all. Most people use eggplant in a parmesan, but I don't like all that sauce and cheese covering up the taste of my eggplant. I knew there was a dip that used eggplant so I went to my computer to look up eggplant recipes. It was then I discovered Baba Ghanoush. This recipe sounded delicious and I just had to make it, not knowing what it would taste like. As I was making the recipe, I quickly realized that Baba Ghanoush was very similar to a hummus. The eggplant replaced the chickpeas when compared to a hummus. Once my dip was done I took a bite and it was so delicious. It tasted like a spicy, smoky hummus and I was in heaven. I was asking myself, what took me so long to try Baba Ghanoush.
Now traditional Baba Ghanoush uses the inside of an eggplant that has been cooked.My recipe uses a whole eggplant that has been peeled and cubed and oven roasted. I think the roasting of the eggplant may have been the reason this Baba Ghanoush tasted so delicious. I have never had traditional Baba Ghanoush so I have nothing to compare it to. I also added Lightly Dried Chili Peppers to my recipe for a punch of heat. You can omit the chili peppers if you want a mild flavor.
These Lightly Dried Chili Peppers give food a wonderful flavor and a punch of heat. Gourmet Garden takes chopped habanero chilies and lightly dries them to last for 4 weeks once the container is opened.How many times have you purchased fresh herbs and they went bad before you had a chance to use them? These lightly dried herbs not only stay fresh for 4 weeks, but refresh in cooking, giving you the closest flavor, appearance, and aroma to that of fresh herbs. I thought the Chili Peppers were going to be too hot, but they instead had a nice medium heat to them with awesome flavor. The two teaspoons that I added to my Baba Ghanoush replaces four teaspoons of fresh chili pepper. I love that these chili peppers are organically grown and harvested when the spicy capsaicin is at its peak, guaranteeing a bold flavor. The bowls that they are placed in are pretty cool too as they click and stack with the other lightly dried herbs that they sell.
Baba Ghanoush With Oven Roasted Eggplant
1 eggplant peeled (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Lightly Dried Chili Peppers
Lightly Dried Parsley for garnish
Cut the eggplant into small cubes and place in a bowl with the olive oil. Stir the eggplant cubes with the oil until well coated. Place the eggplant on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Bake at 400 F for about 30 minutes or until soft and lightly brown. Let the eggplant cool slightly and place in a food processor with the remaining ingredients. Process until smooth. Garnish with Lightly Dried Chili Peppers and Lightly Dried Parsley. Serve this delightful dip with crackers.
"These opinions are my own and I received samples of Lightly Dried Herbs from http://www.gourmetgarden.com/ to facilitate this post."