Summertime Babaganoush

This recipe is one of my all time favorite and it always reminds me of summer. I call it Summertime Babaganoush because it is so fresh and delicious.I am sure you can make it any time of year, especially when you need the uplifting aromas of summer. It bring a little bit of sunshine in your life;)

You don't need any special equipment to make this version of babaganoush. I chop everything by hand and mix it in. It is that simple. It just needs a little planning since you have to roast the eggplant. I simply wrap mine in foil and bake it for a few hours at 300 to 350 F ( depending on your oven). If you want to avoid using foil, just make a pouch out of parchment paper and put the eggplant in. When it is no longer firm I turn the oven off and let it cool down on its own. This way the skin is very easy to peel and the bitter juices are released in the paper and can be discarded.
 At this point it looks like this:

  It is nice and soft and it doesn't need a lot of effort when you chop it into small pieces. My mom used to have this big wooden mortar and pestle and when she made this, she just smashed it down until it is nice and smooth. If you have one of those (jealous) , go ahead and use it. I just put it on my cutting board and ran my knife through it until I was satisfied with the consistency.
 Eggplant is a wonderful health food. It is not a staple in the American diet but I think it is slowly gaining popularity. It is part of the Nightshade family, so be careful if you are allergic to those plants or if you are trying to avoid nightshade vegetables. I grew up eating eggplant all summer, when it was in season , and my mom can probably write a whole cookbook with eggplant recipes. It is very versatile - it can be a main dish, a side , a spread, or an appetizer. Your imagination is the only limitation. It is also full of nutrients , more than 80 to be exact, including fiber, Vitamin K, Vitamins B3 and B6, Vitamin C, potassium, folate, magnesium, and many others.
 So, to this wonderful vegetable we are going to add some parsley , chives and fresh garlic. I am proud to say that I added the fresh garlic and chives from my own "garden". And when I say "garden", I actually mean this:

 As you can see , you don't need much to grow fresh herbs. These are outside my apartment door and I've been cutting down the chives and the green tops of the garlic to add to salads and various dishes. Adding parsley brings the smell of summer and freshness to the dish. I use a lot of it in all my salads. Did you know it has more iron than spinach?
 Chop everything up pretty small, so you can scoop it with some veggies or spread on toasted bread.

 The last step in this recipe is to add some flavor enhancers - sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, lemon juice and some olive oil. Stir everything well and refrigerate for at least half an hour before serving. It gets better as it sits in the fridge and the flavors develop.
 I hope you will give this a try. Here is the ingredient list:
  • 2 roasted eggplants
  • 3 green garlic tops ( use a large clove of garlic if you don't have fresh garlic)
  • a handful of parsley
  • a small bunch of chives
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of half a lemon
  • a tablespoon of olive oil
You can use it as a dip , a side dish or just spread it on some delicious sourdough bread for a quick snack.

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