grilled baba ghanouj

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~ grilled baba ghanouj ~

Are you having a nice summer? I’m relaxing into it now that I have a good portion of my magazine articles written, and most of the photo shoots done. It’s been very exciting, and quite a ride. I’m coming to realize that relaxing and having “me” time is so much more precious when I’m trying to keep so many plates spinning. This summer we’ve been working hard, and now the playing hard part feels great.

We’ve gotten in the groove of grilling our dinner more often then cooking it in our kitchen. Not just because it’s been a crazy-hot summer so far (which it most definitely has) but there is just something so exciting about trying new recipes on the grill. I asked my facebook readers if they prefer to grill with charcoal or gas, and a surprising amount of them said gas. I guess I can understand that if you’re coming from the viewpoint of needing your grill time to be fast and convenient, but I also sort of think why even bother grilling then? If you need it fast, then why not just use a frying pan or microwave?  Oh well…to each their own I guess. We’ve always grilled with pure wood briquettes on a Weber, and I don’t think I’ll ever want to make the switch to gas. What’s your take? Maybe I’m missing something.

Anyhoo, last night we made baba ghanouj on the grill and it turned out awesome. Super easy and also very good for you. It’s smoky, creamy, garlicy and slightly tangy. I crave it often.  It made a great accompaniment to grilled beef gyros with tzatziki and tons of fresh veggies.It’s also a yummy appetizer if you chill it and serve it with greek yogurt, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, marinated olives and wedges of toasted pita.

2 medium eggpalnts ( each about 7 inches long)

2 large cloves of garlic

3 tablespoons tahini (sesame butter/paste)

juice of one large lemon

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin

salt and pepper to taste

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Split eggplants in half lengthwise. Slash the white flesh in several places. Sprinkle them with salt and allow them to rest for a half hour. Gently squeeze them  over a sink to release the excess juices, and then wipe the surface of each with a paper towel. Grill, skin side down and covered, over medium heat, for 5-10 minutes (or until the purple skins are blackened and the inner flesh is very soft and scoopable.

Scoop out flesh with a large spoon or ice cream scoop. Place flesh in the bowl of a food processor along with the other ingredients. Puree until even and smooth. Adjust seasonings and serve warm or chilled.

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