Baba Ghanouj

Looks like this week is cursed or something…

It would seem like I’m having a hard time keeping tires properly inflated!

First, it was Vince, my bike, who got injured: he got his first flat ever last Saturday and it turned out to be quite an adventure. I’ll spare you all the details, but I basically ran out of air to inflate the replacement tire and sort of had 10km to walk on cleats with a dysfunctional bike by my side in order to get home.

Pfft… not gonna happen! I wish there was such a thing as roadside assistance for riders!

I tried calling my son but he was not home. Argh. Tried hitching a ride, but had no success… People don’t want to be bothered, I guess…

I eventually made it to a gas station where I was able to call a cab. But then, while I was waiting, I finally managed to get a hold of my son and he came to pick me up.

It was 2:30 in the afternoon when I finally got home. I hadn’t eaten all day… Need I tell you I was STARVING?

As if that wasn’t enough, yesterday it was Sally’s turn to get a broken limb.

Her case was a lot worse. She needed an ambulance and all, because it happened on the highway and you’re not allowed changing a tire there. It’s too dangerous. At least this time I had access to roadside assistance, but still, I had to wait for over an hour on the side of the road for the towing to take us away up and perform emergency surgery…

Again, I got home VERY late and extremely hungry!

This morning I had to take her to the hospital where she got her permanent repair done. The verdict? A bad hole on the side of the road had kinked a mag beyond repair.

The damage? $550. That’s FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS!!! To change a mag. Wow! What are they, gold plated or something?

Thank goodness I don’t have to pay for roadside assistance, ‘cuz that would’ve added yet another $250 to that bill.

Gah!

I’ll survive… but still, I’m a bit apprehensive at the idea of going for a bike ride tomorrow morning… Can you blame me? ;)

So anyway, enough with the tires… let’s go on with the food, shall we?

I thought I would give you a little break from salads and treat you to one of my favorite dips ever: Baba Ghanouj.

This is one dish that I’d been enjoying numerous times in many different Lebanese restaurants, but had never attempted making at home, until now.

For some reason, I thought it would be super complicated to make.

Complicated AND long.

But boy was I wrong… it just couldn’t be easier. Although it does take a little bit of time, you don’t really need to attend to it. Most of the work, the aubergine takes care of herself, comfortably basking in the oven, not requiring your assistance in the least.

Basically, all YOU need to do is cut your aubergine in half, shove it in the oven, scoop the flesh out when it’s done and cooled, throw that in the food processor along with a few other ingredients and give that a quick spin.

All your very minimal efforts get instantly rewarded with this mild, creamy, dreamy, nutty and slightly smokey aubergine dip, which you can enjoy with pieces of warm or toasted pita bread, crackers, or even better yet, crudités.

Of course, this makes for a fantastic appetizer, snack or even light lunch… it’s exactly the kind of thing that I love to make on Sundays and bring to work with me, so I can enjoy throughout the week for my afternoon snack.

Baba Ghanouj

Heck, I’m starting to think that maybe I should keep some in my car and also bring some on my bike rides…

Looks like you never know when you’ll need a little sustenance.

Joking aside, I’m real happy I finally tried making this at home. This will certainly become a regular for me.

I’m already thinking of my next batch… I want to try grilling the aubergines instead of baking them in the oven.

I’m sure it will take it right to the next level. Plus, there’s just no way I would turn on the oven for 40 minutes in this kind of heat!

I haven’t totally lost my mind, yet!

Baba Ghanouj

Yield: Yelds 2-3 cups

NF based on 1/4 of the recipe

Baba Ghanouj

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large eggplants, peel on, halved lengthwise
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • Garnish
  • Drizzle olive oil
  • Few fresh parsley leaves, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Drizzle eggplants with a little bit of olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place eggplant cut-side down on that baking sheet and bake until soft and collapsed, about 35-40 minutes.
  4. When cool enough to handle, scoop eggplant pulp into the bowl of your food processor. Add tahini, garlic, lime juice, salt, pepper and olive oil and process until nice and smooth. Add parsley and pulse a few times until just incorporated.
  5. Transfer to service bowl and garnish with parsley and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil.
  6. Serve with crudités or pieces of whole wheat pita bread (or spread it on toast, even, or eat by the spoonful, why not?)

Notes

http://thehealthyfoodie.com/baba-ghanouj/

Baba Ghanouj

Baked Eggplant

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Comments

  1. John says

    It’s Montréal Canadiens, not Canadians. Huge difference. Come on! A huge fan should know that. Great post though despite the error. Go Habs Go!

    • says

      OMG, John, you are so right!!! I’d never noticed that I’d made that horrendous typo! I’m off to correct that right away!!!! How could I? Thank you so much for pointing that out. And Go Habs Go indeed. Let’s hope the next season goes much better than the last one did!

  2. Eha says

    Eggplant is one of my alltime favourite vegetables and in season here now. Most of my friends love the small Japanese ones which do not have to be degorged before using, but I mostly buy them fullsize. This particular dish is one of my favourites and I am making it very week at the moment in somewhat a similar way! You have achieved a lovely consistency: what appetizing photos :) ! Truly sorry to hear of your family troubles: hour by hour and day by day, huh? And take care on those wheels, won’t you!!

    • says

      Funny, I don’t tend to ever degorge my eggplant, except for when I make Moussaka, and I never really felt the need to, even the really large ones. I don’t find them to taste bitter at all! Have you ever tried making baba ghanouj with grilled eggplant? I so can’t wait to try that one…

      Thanks for your lovely comment on my photos, and I will try and keep them wheels inflated for a while! :)

      • Eha says

        May I tell you a secret? Shush!!! I am usually so flat out that I don’t degorge either, even tho’ every book and cookery teacher tells you to do so :) ! I use eggplant both ways, but somehow prefer the baked forms [make myself a baked stuffed aubergine almost every week at the moment]. Take care, as a couple of close friends always say to me :) !

  3. says

    This is one of my absolute favourite things EVER! I ate it a lot in Syria (lots of overlap between Syrian and Lebanese food), and couldn’t get enough of it. It’s a great dish for converting apparent ‘aubergine-haters’ too!

  4. says

    Mmmmmm… I’ve been on an aubergine kick lately et voila there is another great recipe for me to do! Thanks so much, Sonia :)

    I am so sorry to hear about your tire woes :( Believe it or not we have roadside assistance here in Alberta through the Alberta Motor Association (just came into effect). Maybe the Quebec Auto Association (?) will follow suit soon?

    We are celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Calgary Stampede this year and it all started yesterday with the parade. I love parades and this one was fabulous. Last night we visited the fair grounds (at Stampede Park). You would have been proud of us, we gorged on Polish sausages on a bun, fresh lemonade and pineapple yogurt cones. Hey, who says fairground food is unhealthy?

    Hope you have a lovely weekend.

    Cath

    • says

      Ooooh, the stampede!!! I so hope I get to see that someday! Looks like loads of fun! 100th anniversary this year? Oh my, bet they made it super extra special for the occasion. I hope your having a blast! And kudos to you on keeping it on the healthy side!

      I’ll go ravage the Internet to see if I couldn’t find a few pictures of that great event!

  5. says

    I almost bought some eggplant at the farmer’s market this morning…wish I would have! But I pinned the recipe for another time :)

  6. Élise says

    Yummy. Even at 8 am, I’m kind of craving baba ghanouj after this post.
    I think I will hit up the Jean-Talon market and get some aubergine.
    I love cooking batches of it, and I get to eat as snacks for a whole week. Most of the time, I degorge them because they tend to be too bitter, and I add some extra sumac for extra tastiness :P
    Another way I love eating aubergine is to grill thin slices (after degorging).I do that in my oven these days since I don’t have a barbecue, but it’s even better on charbon de bois because the extra smokiness. Then I add a mix of greek yogourt + a bit of oven baked garlic + pinch of paprika + oven baked red pepper + sun dried tomatoes (I mix that all up in a food processor). I add lots of fresh mint, and then pour it on top of the grilled aubergine. It’s absolutely to die for (IMHO) and extra delicious with toasted pita or afghan bread.

    • says

      Oh great! Now you got me wanting to hit the market. Wish I didn’t live that far… I think I need to plan a little visit there fairly soon. Like next week-end or something. Stock up on fresh, locally grown produce.

      And your recipe sounds soooo delish! I definitely need to try that! Sans the degorging part ;) I’m thinking of throwing everything on the grill: aubergine, garlic and red pepper. Maybe add a little bit of goat feta to the mix. HAS to be super yummy! HAVE to try! Thanks for the inspiration!

      • Élise says

        You should definitely try it. And feta would be a great addition!
        The Jean-Talon market is within walking distance of my apartment and it’s where I get most of my supply of fresh veggies and fruits. Sometimes, I take it for granted; and then I see all those American and Ontarian tourists going gaga over all the cheeses and buying and taking pictures all over the place… So it reminds me of my luck living it up in this cosmopolite city and stop envying my friend living in Paris and enjoying the morning markets and the best authentic sourdough baguettes. At least, there is always the cheap air transat charter flights from time to time :P

      • says

        Oh, I am so envious now. Would you believe me if I told you I never set foot in that market yet? I’ve been to other markets, but NEVER to Jean-Talon. I recently heard that Marché Jean-Talon would be the second largest Farmer’s Market in North-America! Don’t know if it’s true, but it certainly piqued my interest. Now I HAVE to pay it a visit. I just need to remember to eat before I head there… ;)

  7. says

    O boy that sounds like a lot of bad luck with the bike. On the bright side, that means you’ve had all the bad luck you need so back to good fortune! I keep thinking as well what would happen if my bike broke down when in the middle of nowhere. I have a phone like you but yes, I know Tom doesn’t always answer his when he’s in a meeting or what not so who to call then? Hmm, let’s hope I don’t have to find out… (Am I jinxing myself now??)
    Love the look of your baba ghanouj…Perfect for coming home after such trouble!

    • says

      Unfortunately, Simone, looks like I’m not quite done yet! Just check out my latest FB status… UNBELIEVABLE! I think I’m really afraid to go out now. Unless maybe NOW it’s good fortune time? I certainly wish there was a way to tell when bad luck was really over.

      I totally vote for roadside assistance for cyclists. After all, some of us travel greater distances on our bikes than some people do in their cars. So why not? I’m sure a lot of people would use it. Mind you, maybe it already exists and I just don’t know about it? I shall investigate!

  8. says

    @John The thing is… the rest of us knew (and didn’t care) about that eensy weensy typo. If this were a hockey blog I would say that your criticism was viable. Thankfully it is not – it is a food blog and we love what Sonia posts. You might think about ending your message with a little positive comment regarding all of Sonia’s beautiful photos and recipes she posts for us! Just sayin’ :)

    Cathy (one of Sonia’s fans!)

  9. says

    Aw, jeez! I hope your vehicle luck changes! Your baba ghanouj has me drooling! I’ve wanted to make it forever, but I’ve put it off. I know it’s delicious, I just have to buy myself an eggplant and do it!

    • says

      Hmpft… I really wish I could do that, especially since I did get a 3rd flat tire! This is getting ridiculous. Unfortunately, I DO have to get to work, and 50km by foot each way would take me WAYYYY too long. At that rate, I might as well quit my job ;) As for riding my bike, I think I’m just too addicted. I couldn’t stay away from it. I’ll make sure to really tighten that helmet nice and good, though. And maybe I should invest in a full face and leather suit! ;)

  10. Élise says

    You definitely have to come to the market, Sonia! Do you live outside of Montreal? Anyways, you definitely have to come faire un tour. There is a nearby piste cyclable on Berri, there is also the metro Jean-Talon nearby; and of course now they also have underground parking, although I’ve never used it.
    Make sure to visit the Marché des Saveurs. My own pêché mignon is the Havre-aux-Glaces. I try to come up with any excuse I can find to order a specially made ice-cream cake for any and all occasions :P. There is much more animation during summer time, but remember that all stands are not equal. They don’t all have the same quality. But that’s half the fun: choosing and picking the best fruits and veggies you can find :) In august, they have lots of ripe yummy (and cheap!)red peppers and lovely tomatoes. That’s when I buy lots and lots to make sauces and oven baked red peppers that I then freeze for the harsh winter months. Sorry for the rambling, but I can’t seem to stop when I start talking food lol

    • says

      Oh maaaan! Now I really really really want to go. And while I was strictly thinking fruits and veggies and perhaps a few cheeses, now you got me to realize that there’s a heck of a lot more at the market, namely ice creams, breads, cakes, pastries, meats, sausages, fish and seafood, gorgeous rustic pizzas… Oh my, yum! Suddenly, I’m not so sure I should be going… of if I do go, I should cycle there, so I can burn a few calories in the process. I live in the Laurentiens, by the way. So really, cycling all the way there would be a tad complicated.

      I get the feeling that I will be visiting soon. Maybe I’ll go on a Sunday and head for the Tam-Tam afterwards… or the Piknic Electronik.

      Oh yeah. This is happening soon. VERY SOON!

      ps… don’t worry about rambling, I’m just the same when I start talking about food. ;)

  11. Kristine says

    You just rocked my world. I just made this (for breakfast, no less) and it is SO amazing! I had to force myself to at least spoon it on to a plate because I couldn’t stop eating it straight from the blender. BRAVO!

  12. valerie says

    HI!

    I don’t have tahini on hand now but REALLY want to make it…is there something else I could use? :)

    btw thanks for your amazing recipes and picutres, they are really inspiring!

    • says

      Hmmm… I don’t know Valerie, tahini does play an important role in this. It has such a distinct flavor, I’d be very hard pressed to replace it with anything else. Maybe… maaaaaybe toasted almond butter? But honestly, I think I’d make a quick run to the store for some tahini! Unless maybe you happen to have a whole bunch of sesame seeds on hand, then you could easily make your own! :)

      And thank you for your kind words, I truly appreciate that!

  13. Katherine says

    Poor Vince! Buy him some “Mr. Tuffy” (tire liners) and he’ll never leave you stranded ever again. Just so you know that I understand your pain, I used to ride an average of 110 miles per week, and after installing a Mr. Tuffy on both wheels, I never had another flat … Ever.

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