One of my favorite places in Des Moines is Open Sesame, a restaurant serving Lebanese food. I’ve always enjoyed their baba ghanoush (along with just about everything else on the menu) and decided to make my own with some eggplant from my neighbor Ed’s garden.
For those unfamiliar with baba ghanoush, it is a side, dip, or salad commonly served in the Eastern Mediterranean. Unlike other dips that are loaded with fat and calories, baba ghanoush is healthy! If you’ve never tried it, round up the ingredients below and consider this for your next gathering!
1 eggplant, roasted
1 T tahini sauce
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 clove of garlic, smashed
Salt to taste
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut eggplant in half and poke with fork. Place skin side up on a foil covered sheet. Roast until the skin on the eggplant turns dark, almost black, and begins to wrinkle. For a medium-sized eggplant this is about 20 minutes.
Once the eggplant is roasted, let cool so you can peel away the skin. Place eggplant, a clove of garlic (smashed), the juice from half a lemon, and 1 tablespoon of tahini sauce in food processor. Mix until smooth and then add salt to taste. This last step actually helped make my baba ghanoush a bit less bitter so make sure you don’t forget the salt! Serve with pita bread, chips, or vegetables.
On a side note: you might gasp when you see how much tahini, or ground sesame seeds cost. Never fear! There are many ways to use this (homemade hummus, salad dressing, and other dips) so don’t shy away. If anything, it will get you cooking more and trying new foods!