Baba ghanoush (eggplant appetizer)

Yield: 2 Cups

Measure Ingredient
2 eaches Eggplants, about 1 1/2 lbs.
¼ cup Lemon juice
¼ cup Tahini (sesame seed paste)
2 eaches Cloves garlic, crushed
\N \N Salt to taste
\N \N Olive oil
\N \N Freshly chopped parsley,
\N \N Paprika or pomegranate
\N \N Seeds to garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cover baking sheet with foil. Wipe eggplant and pierce with point of sharp knife. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake in preheated oven 35 to 45 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel eggplants and remove seeds. Place in container of food processor and sprinkle with lemon juice to keep from browning.

2. Add tahini, garlic, and salt. Process until smooth.

3. Spread onto serving platter and pour small amount of olive oil over top. Garnish with chopped parsley, paprika, or pomegranate seeds. Serve with warmed pita bread and crudites. Cover and store in refrigerator.

Notes: Baba ghanoush is a traditional dish of Lebanon and Syria, and is often served with raw or blanced vegetables. The combined flavors of eggplant, garlic, and lemon juice are very Mediteranean. For a smokey flavor, grill eggplant over hot charcoal instead of baking in the oven.

Variation: In Greece, olive oil is used instead of tahini. In Syria yogurt is added for a lighter tasting dish. In Turkey it is called Hunkar Begendi, tahini and garlic are omitted and 1 cup white sauce and ⅓ cup grated cheese are mixed into the eggplant and heated before serving.

Source: Secrets of Cooking, by Linda Chirinian (typed by Jane Ghorbani)

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