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Baba Ghanoush (Eggplant With Tahini)

Yield: 2 cups dip

Dip:

  • 1 large fresh eggplant
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste), or a bit more, to taste
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • pinch cumin tablespoon chopped parsley

Slash eggplant about 5 times lengthwise (1/4 inch deep) and bake in a hot (425°F.) oven. Turn it frequently until the outside is dark and the eggplant is soft and squishy throughout. It will somewhat collapse. Cool, then slit the skin and scoop out flesh, leaving skin and tough flesh from under the calyx at the top behind.

Use a mortar and pestle, if available, or the side of a knife, to smash the garlic with the salt until puréed. Mix with the eggplant, and use a potato masher to gently puree it, or combine in food processor with a few pulses (do not completely puree). 

Mix in the lemon juice and tahini and the cumin. Taste and add more salt, lemon, garlic, cumin or tahini as you like. The dish should have a slightly smoky flavor. Serve as part of a middle-eastern Mezze (hors d'oeuvres) platter, garnished with olive oil and chopped parsley, along with hummus, black olives, tomatoes etc.

Pita Chips:

Yield: 72 chips

  • 1 package large pita breads
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • salt
  • paprika
  • any other seasonings you like

Cut pita into triangles. Toss with spices and lightly oil. Spread on sheet pans, bake 350°F. until crisp, about 8 minutes. Cool, store airtight until use.