24 October 2010

Baba Ganouj

I treat election nights as many others do the Oscars, Grammys, or World Cup or Stanley Cup Finals. I barricade myself in the TV temple, a friend or two at my side watching names and numbers scroll across the screen as talking heads and experts try to explain how things will be different in the morning.

I yell at the television when the other side looks as if they'll win. I try and physically push the pixels so the person I voted for gets in. I hold my breath. I hide behind the cushions. I stay up as long as I can to watch final numbers.

Tomorrow is municipal election day in Ontario. Hopeful mayors, councillors, school trustees are all on the ballots, as are various questions about this that and the other. I've read the literature and the newspaper articles. I've made various decisions and will exercise my right.

Our local races aren't overly contentious. Okay...that's my opinion. Others won't agree and are doing their best to draw attention to heinous wrongs and/or if the rest of us don't acquiesce to their obvious superiority our area will go to Hell in a handbasket.

So I'll be home Monday night, and will flick on the returns while tucking into nibblies. This year I'll have a bowl of baba ganouj (or baba ganoush, if you will): creamy, garlicky goodness, oozing over mini pitas and raw veggies.

Good baba ganoujs I've had have all been made with fire-roasted aubergines--the smokiness permeates the flesh and imbues the dip with an extra savouryness that other versions just...lack. I don't have a gas hob, a barbecue, or a blowtorch, so I oven roast the eggplant until the skins char.

Baba ganouj is easy to put together and can be made a couple of hours in advance and left to sit in the fridge so the flavours marry. I don't use as much tahini as some recipes do--just enough to impart its sesame flavour, but I lighten the texture with sour cream. You can use less garlic if you wish, but I tend to add more.

Baba Ganouj
Yield: approx: 1 cup

One large purple aubergine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp Tahini
2 Tbsp Sour Cream
juice from half a lemon
Extra virgin Olive oil
Toasted sesame seeds (for garnish, optional)

Preheat oven to 170C/350F. Line a baking tray with foil, smear with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Slice the aubergine into 5cm/2" thick discs and arrange on the prepared tray. Rub oil over top of each disk and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the flesh yields to a knife point and the skin has blackened. Remove from oven and let cool.

Scrape the innards into a bowl and stir in garlic, tahini and lemon juice. Balance flavours to taste. Cover and let sit in fridge until ready to serve.

Drizzle olive oil over and sprinkle sesame seeds on top before serving with pita breads/chips, flat breads and/or crudité.


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Mickle in NZ said...

Hello dear Jasmine

I cheat where tahini is needed is a recipe. Since I hardly ever tahini I just add a little of a good roasted seasame oil!

I hope all goes peacefully with your municipal elections - we've just had ours. All very boring apart from the very close finish for my own city's mayor - even then I'm not that fussed.

Happy eating and cooking, Michelle and Zebby Cat, xxx and purrrrumbles

Cynthia said...

Have fun with your elections watching.