Baba Ganoush was the first Arabic dish that I ever tried when I was a student in Chicago. I had no idea what the origin of the dish was or even what was in it. Now that I think about it that was also the first time that I even had eggplant. I immediately loved the dish; I could not get enough of it and kept dipping my soft, warm pita bread into it over and over. Over the years I have made eggplant in several dishes I just adore the rustic nutty and smoky flavor that they hold once cooked.
1 large eggplant, pierced with a fork all over
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons tahini
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for top
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and bake for 1-1/2 hours. Turn frequently! A knife should go through the vegetable smoothly. Allow to cool, then peel and trash the skin.
2. In a large bowl, mash the pulp with a fork. Set aside. In another bowl, add garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, lemon juice, tahini and 4 tablespoons of olive oil, mix well.
3. Add the mixture into the mashed eggplant, mixing well then drizzle the top with olive oil. Serve with fresh pita bread and vegetables.
Yields: 6 servings