Monday, May 18, 2009

May Sound Funny but it Tastes Real Good

funny word of the day: babaganoush

For those of you who have never heard of it or tasted it, babaganoush is a very popular Middle Eastern dish made primarily of eggplant and tahini, a paste made from sesame seeds.
In the Levant, babaganoush is a sort of salad made of grilled eggplant with finely diced onions, tomatoes and other vegetables blended in. It is normally served with a dressing of oil and pomegranate concentrate.
Babaganoush can either be spelled as one word or two (Baba Ganoush) but as it has a variation that's one word, it qualifies for Funny Word of the Day.
I happen to love this dip and have even made it myself. I encourage you to try it, but only if you say its name aloud first.
Here's a recipe and more background from
Ingredients for babaganoush
Serves 4 as appetizer
4 large eggplants – whole
6 tablespoons lemon juice – freshly pressed is best
4 heaped tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
3 cloves garlic – peeled
½ teaspoon salt
1 sprig Italian parsley – as garnish

Babaganoush preparation instructions
Cooking time: 45 minutes.Preparation time: about 15 minutes.
The first thing to remember is neither to peel the eggplant not to chop its stem.
Pierce each side of the eggplants with a fork. Place the whole eggplants in the oven and roast them for about 45 minutes turning them over 2 or 3 times.
The eggplants are done when the outer shell is blackened or charred, and the inside is soft.
Allow to cool a little bit. Cut the aubergines open lengthwise with a knife, and scoop out the pulp with a spoon. Put the pulp in a mixing bowl and mash it into a puree with a fork or blender. Discard the skin.
If you use a food processor, be careful not to liquidize the eggplant pulp.
Use mortar and pestle to crush the peeled garlic with the salt into a smooth paste.
Add the lemon juice and the tahini alternately to the mortar, mixing it well with the pestle or a wooden spoon.
Add the tahini mixture to the eggplant puree and beat it gently but thoroughly until the babaganoush has a smooth consistency.
Pour it onto a serving dish or platter.
A moment before serving, garnish the baba ganoush with chopped parsley or parsley leaves.
Serve chilled or at room temperature with olive oil, pitta bread, radishes, and green onions.

Suggested Mediterranean recipes and meal ideas
Serve babaganoush...
As an appetizer with pita bread cut into wedges.
As a healthy vegetable dip with pita bread, flat bread or a baguette. After all, real bread is indispensable in the Mediterranean diet.
In a brunch, mezza or cocktail dip.

A Mediterranean food recipe by many names
Whether it's called baba ganoush, baba ghannouj, moutabal, or eggplant mousse, all variations that respect the essence of this babaganoush are a real appetizer treat.

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