Baba Ganoush a la blowtorch

1 Feb

I have a lot of eggplant at the moment. I wouldn’t say I’m much of an eggplant eater, but I actually don’t mind having a bit of a glut of these because they look so pretty hanging on the plants.

Looking through various recipes that use eggplant, Baba Ganoush kept jumping out because firstly it uses large quantities of eggplant, but also because it is easy to make dairy-free and therefore edible for Little D.

Baba Ganoush a la blowtorch

15 lebanese eggplant. You could definitely use normal eggplant – might even be better

3 cloves of garlic

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

3 tablespoons of tahini

1 tablespoon olive oil

Good pinch of salt and pepper

Pinch of cumin

Image courtesy of J. Thanks kid for cutting off my head and focussing on my pregnant middle section 🙂

Having never made baba ganoush, I did a quick skim of the various recipes out there on the interwebs and concluded that burning the skin is the key to getting that essential smoky flavour. I’m not always chef material, but burning stuff I can do!

I spread the eggplants out on an oven tray, pricked their skin all over with a fork and set to work blowtorching the skins thoroughly. This takes a bit of time to ensure that the skins are blackened all over.

After I was happy with the level of charring, I put the eggplants onto the oven on ‘fan grill’ in my oven at 230 degrees celcius. Alternatively you could either put it on the top shelf at the highest heat your oven will go or put them under the grill, turning frequently.

You want them to be both charred on the surface and really soft and squishy inside.

Once they come out of the oven, let them cool a little while you get the rest of the ingredients prepared.

Coarsely chop the garlic. The quantity is personal preference depending on your personal preference and whether you need to go into the office tomorrow. Add with the other ingredients into the blender. If you don’t have one, then you could mash it all with a fork but you would need to crush the garlic instead.

Spend some time opening up the eggplants and putting the insides into the blender. If you are using full sized eggplants then you could avoid the seeds, but with lebanese eggplants they are small and I quite like their texture anyway. The key with this step is to get the as much of the flesh into the blender as possible without any skin.

Process the lot together until you are happy with the texture. You can add extra olive oil or water if you need to thin it out. Taste and adjust seasonings.

The above quantities made about 1 1/2 cups of  babaganoush. I served it as part of a meal of grilled lamb cutlets, tabouli and flat bread. I took the leftovers to a a meeting I had after dinner.

I think using the lebanese eggplant for this recipe really adds to the smoky flavour of the dip because the smoke penetrates the flesh more. It does make it more fiddly though.

9 Responses to “Baba Ganoush a la blowtorch”

  1. Liz February 1, 2012 at 8:52 pm #

    Oh yum – you could employ your blow torch method of eggplant cooking for the eggplant masala as well if you wanted to play with fire again….I suspect that if I had one of those I’d want to use it more than is neccessarily advisable. Don’t you love a good kitchen toy.

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney February 6, 2012 at 9:04 am #

      I’m terrible! I developed a creme brulee fetish after traveling to France and the blowtorch just seemed ‘necessary’ 🙂 It does come in handy for several applications though – so much less fiddly than trying to scorch capsicum and eggplant skins over a gas hob.

  2. Mrs Bok February 6, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    Oh yummmm…love how beautiful they are on the plant. I love smoky charred eggplant all gooey in the middle!

  3. Barbie February 7, 2012 at 1:50 am #

    Wait, Bab Ganoush AND Taboleh on the same plate – tell me you did not make both… Hang on I’m coming to your house for dinner!

    • L from 500m2 in Sydney February 7, 2012 at 8:34 am #

      Tabouleh is such an easy addition to any meal at the moment – there’s always parsley and mint in the garden and burghul in the pantry. As long as there’s a ripe tomato I’m all set!


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