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It’s eggplant season, which means it’s time to make baba ghanoush in my household. We also make Moutabal from eggplants, and they are prepared the same way. You can grill the eggplants on the BBQ to get the smoky charred flavor, or you could do it directly on your gas stove. However, cooking the eggplant on the gas stove can be really messy. The easiest way to roast them is in the oven.
Baba ganoush is more like a salad with eggplant as the base and various vegetables. I like to add tomatoes, onion, sweet red pepper, pomegranate seeds, and some walnuts with lemon and garlic.
Many years ago, I went on a trip to Syria with my family. It was the first time I tried baba ganoush the Syrian way, and it was an explosion in my mouth. There were sweet and sour flavors that just worked so well together. I can still taste it in my mouth.
How Long Does it Take To Roast Eggplant for Baba Ghanoush?
Eggplants should take between 25-30 minutes to roast. You will know your eggplants are ready when they become tender, and you can stick a fork into them easily. Let the eggplants continue roasting if they are not soft within 30 minutes of cooking. It is imperative that they are fully cooked for the dips.
How to Make and Prepare Roasted Eggplant?
- After cutting the eggplants lengthwise, flip them on their backs and brush them with olive oil. Then flip them over with the flat side down on the baking tray. Bake them at 400 F until they become soft and tender. This should take about 25 minutes.
- You can also use a fork to test if the eggplant is ready. The fork should go straight through when it is ready.
- Take the roasted eggplant out of the oven and let it cool down. It should be cool enough to handle.
- When it’s cool enough to handle, get a bowl with a strainer inside and hold the eggplant with the dome side in one hand and use a large spoon to scope the meaty part out into the strainer.
- Let it sit to drain from the water for about 20 minutes. Using the back of the spoon, press on the roasted eggplant to get rid of the extra water.
- I like to sauté the onions, garlic, sweet red pepper, and jalapeno with a little bit of olive oil, salt, cumin, coriander, and 1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses. I cook the vegetables just enough so that they are soft but not cooked all through. Then I let the mixture come to room temperature before use.
Preheat the oven to 425F, cut the eggplant lengthwise, brush with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, place on a baking sheet flat side down, and bake for about 35 minutes until tender. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool off.
In the meantime, over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil, add the diced onion, red pepper, and diced jalapeno, and saute for 3 minutes. Add ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 1 teaspoon of cumin, and ½ teaspoon of coriander, mix all together for another 2 minutes, drizzle with one tablespoon of molasses, remove from the heat and set aside.
When the eggplant cools enough to handle using a spoon, scoop out the flesh leaving the skin and place it in a strainer, and re-skin over a bowl to release the water. Use the back of the spoon to press on the eggplant to release some of the moisture.
To assemble, arrange the baba ganoush to make a small hole in the middle, add the rest of the pomegranate seeds and the chopped walnut, drizzle with the rest of the pomegranate molasses and drizzle with olive oil. Serve it cold or at room temperature! Enjoy warm pita bread!
How to Serve Baba Ghanoush?
|2 large eggplant (roasted, peeled and drained)|
|1 small onion (diced small)|
|4 cloves garlic (minced)|
|1 small jalapeno (diced)|
|½ cup diced red pepper|
|½ cup pomegranate seeds|
|½ cup walnuts (chopped)|
|1 small tomato (diced)|
|¼ cup Italian parsley (chopped)|
|⅓ cup fresh lemon juice|
|1 ½ teaspoons salt (½ teaspoon separate)|
|1 teaspoon black pepper|
|1 teaspoon cumin|
|½ teaspoon coriander|
|2 tablespoons molasses (separate)|
|4 tablespoons olive oil separated and more to drizzle|
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