Tuesday 1 March 2016

home made dips - baba ganoush


Around here we love dips, we have lots of favourites which we eat with crudites, crackers and corn chips. We spread them on toast and sandwiches and add them to meals.

So the small store bought tubs don't last long and when we're entertaining they go even quicker.

All of which led me to experiment with making my own. And as I've found its quick, easy and cheap. I've been really delighted with how fast and unfussy they are to make so I thought I'd share.

I'm starting with the one I've been making most, and where the recipe I've been using seems pretty failsafe. I must have made it ten times in the last six months.

Baba ganoush is smoky eggplant in a tahini base with a squeeze of lemon to give it zing and a slight garlic tang. This is one of those home made dips that is better made than bought. And its lightning fast when you're up to speed.

Baba Ganoush

1 medium to large eggplant
1/4 cup tahini (abt 1 and half dessert spoons)
juice of 1/2 lemon (just less than 1/4 cup)
One garlic clove crushed or fine sliced

Cook eggplant over a flame till skin burns and goes black. I have a gas burner and I sit the eggplant on the hotplate, over the naked flame, turning it until all the skin is blackened. When grilling like this I've learnt not to use half measures. A really blackenend burnt skin makes it much easier to peel and gives a better flavour.

It can be messy on the hotplate as the juices run out but its easily cleaned.

For those of you without gas ranges, I had a look online, and it seems cutting the eggplant in half and grilling (broiling) it in the oven is the way to go. Place the eggplant on a baking tray with skin side up and cook till blackened.

Leave it to sit until cool and then peel off the skin. If you've really blackened it it should come away easily. I cut away the stringy bit from the stem down about an inch and discard that too.

Once you have your eggplant flesh add it to the food processor and give it a quick blitz, then add tahini, lemon and garlic and process. It doesn't take too long and I like to leave a bit of texture.

You could tweak the lemon or tahini at this stage depending on taste.

Turn out into a bowl and eat, or chill it a bit first. Yum!

The garlic and other flavours develop over time.

Lucky for me my eggplants have started bearing these beautiful purple fruits so I will be able to trial home grown homemade baba ganoush. And as you know that's the sort of thing that makes me very happy.