I hesitate (just a little bit) to call this Baba Ghanoush because I’m not positive what authentic Baba is – and I’m sure there is plenty of discussion about that already – so Roasted Eggplant Dip seemed safe and plenty descriptive.
1) If you love eggplant, you’ll love this
2) If you don’t like eggplant, give this a try. It’s a little different from your everyday eggplant.
(How’s that for equivocation?)
It’s not just me hedging my bets though, as the flavor is certainly eggplant, but the texture of this is so light and silky – and I think it’s the texture that gets to most aubergineophobics (yeah, not a real word, I checked). But I do wish that we called them aubergine here in the US and not eggplants – it’s a beautiful word.
Onto the dip:
Step 1: In your oven, or in a heavy pan on the stove, or best yet, in the grill, cook the eggplants fairly slowly until the skin is charred and they basically collapse into a pile of mush. I did 2 eggplants, as we had a bunch coming in from the garden, but 1 would be fine, just less dip (duh). I put the grill on medium low, and just left them in there, turning every 10 minutes or so until they were done.*
Step 2: Once off the heat, slice the skin open and let cool for a bit. It should be completely soft inside. When you can handle them, scrape all the eggplant guts out into the food processor.
Step 3: Add some yogurt – you can add as much or as little as you want. Less yogurt and the dip will be more eggplanty. I used the Fage (Greek style – thick, flavorful, wonderful, worth every penny) yogurt. You can get a similar consistency with regular yogurt by leaving it in a strainer for a little while. Add a clove of garlic, minced, and pinches of salt and pepper. Squeeze half a lemon in.
Step 4: Run the processor while drizzling in some olive oil – you don’t need a lot. Stop taste and add more of anything. Sorry, you can’t subtract.
I went easy on the garlic (against every single bone in my body) and left out the fresh herbs (again, at this point of the summer, also feat of willpower) – this was intentional, as I guess I wanted something pretty mellow and smooth, and not too rich - I’ve had some very, very creamy Baba Ghanoush and was shooting for something different.
That’s it – eggplant, yogurt, garlic, lemon, s/p and oil.
I actually did stir some minced marjoram (or it might have been oregano) into the leftovers on day 2, and that was really good as well.
With eggplants ripe and ready to eat, this is the way to go. It works well with the ones that are getting a little tired and wrinkly too, since they are being obliterated anyway.
What to do with it?
- Veggie Dip
- Eat as pictured, spread on toasted pitas, topped with tomatoes, some herbs and oil
- Sandwich/wrap filling or spread
- Dessert topping (and floor wax, of course)
* This post was delayed a bit, as during my first attempt I put the eggplants on the grill and left them there. For almost 3 hours. When I remembered, at midnight, I ran out to discover they had turned it to crispy black shells, completely hollow, all of the flesh long gone. I touched one and poof, like that, it was gone…turned to dust. Don’t do that to your eggplants, please. :)