Baba Ghanouj

Here’s one more Middle Eastern dish, something our family ate when we spent two years in the United Arab Emirates back in the ’70s. If you have family or friends in the Middle East right now, chances are they might have tried this one too.

How do you pronounce “Baba Ghanouj”? I grew up pronouncing it something like babakanoosh, but since I never learned Arabic, that might not be correct.

It’s a dip made from eggplant. Mike, a friend of mine, hated eggplant dishes of any sort, but when I gave him Baba Ghanouj to try, he loved it. He called it “Bob’s Ghanouj.” So even those who detest eggplant might like this one.

  1. Prick with a fork: 1 medium to large eggplant
  2. Roast it on a grill, or in an oven (400 degrees) until the skin is black and charred, at which point the eggplant will be soft.
  3. Peel off the skin, and place the flesh in a blender or food processor with the following:
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • 1/3 cup tahini
    • 1 garlic clove
  4. Whiz until smooth. Place mixture in a serving dish. Drizzle on top: olive oil
  5. Garnish with: pomegranate seeds or dried parsley flakes
  6. Serve.

—by Bob Pickle, publisher of “100% Vegetarian,” the cookbook in which every ingredient is available at your local grocery store.