Pri’s Baba with Roasted Garlic, Chili & Cilantro

We had falafels last night and I tend to like the condiments more than the actual falafel balls! Especially Baba Ghanoush. I’ve seen this dish made various ways- with parsley or cilantro and even with raw onions (YUCK!). I decided to make it my way. I like to roast the garlic, because combining just raw garlic with roasted eggplant tends to overpower to the rest of the ingredients (I think so at least!). And with the garlic of course I roasted some dried cayenne chilies- I need SOME spice! The baba is really easy to make, and its done with one tool- a blender! So if you’re thinking about having a Middle-Eastern, Mediterranean or Greek meal tonight, add this to your menu. You and your family are sure to enjoy it, yum!

Pri’s Baba Ghanoush:

  • 1 large Italian eggplant- cut in 1/4 inch thick slices (lengthwise)
  • 1 head of garlic- with the top trimmed off
  • 3-4 dried cayenne chilies
  • 3-4 tbsp cilantro– finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp tahini sauce (use a vegan substitute)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt- to taste
  • coarse black pepper- 5-6 grinds
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (more or less depending on desired consistency)
  • PAM– olive oil spray
  • 2-3 Kalamata olives- for garnishing
  • smokey paprika- for garnishing

Tools: oven, blender

1. Spray a baking sheet with PAM, line eggplant slices and spray them, leave a little space on the sheet for your garlic. Sprinkle with a little pepper. In a sheet of tinfoil place the head of garlic, spray with PAM sprinkle with salt and pepper and place chilies. Enclose the foil to make a packet. Place on the baking sheet. Place sheet on middle or top rack of oven and set oven on broil around 350 degrees. Broil for about 20 minutes, flipping eggplant slices at 10 minute point. You want the eggplant to be fully cooked, golden brown in color. The garlic cloves should also be browned and mushy- should pop out of garlic peel easily. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

2. In a food processor/blender add eggplant- cut them in smaller pieces so they blend easily. Squeeze in about 4-5 garlic clovess, add cilantro, tahini, lemon juice and chilies (breaking them in half). Pulse for about 30 secs- 1 minutes. Stir to make sure all the pieces are broken up. Once everything is chopped up in the blender, grind on low, and stream in olive oil, until you’ve reached your desired consistency.

3. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir in. Place on a serving platter, drizzle with a few drops of oil and top with olives & paprika! Serve with pita, or slather up your falafel sandwich with this, yummy!

Serves about 4

TIP:

You can use the leftover roasted garlic to spread on bread and top with tomatoes and cheese, or mix with sour cream, mayo and basil to make a great basil-garlic sandwich spread!

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