Raw veggies too boring for you? Looking for a way to perk up those crackers? Just want your place to be permeated with the smell of cheese bubbling away in the oven? Great, now’s your chance! As requested in last week’s Sunday Food Thread, today’s recipe exchange is asking for your best Dips.
Do you prefer hot dips or cold? Chunky or smooth? Spicy or mild?
As always, when posting your recipe, please clearly delineate the ingredient list, the directions, and any other helpful notes you might have. I’m depending on at least one good spinach/artichoke dip recipe from you guys, so instead of giving mine, I’ll share one for baba ganoush that I found on the internet that looks wonderful:
- 2 pounds Italian eggplants (about 2 small-to-medium eggplants)
- 2 medium cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, more if necessary
- ¼ cup tahini
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing the eggplant and garnish
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus extra for garnish
- ¾ teaspoon salt, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- Pinch of smoked paprika, for garnish
- Serving suggestions: warmed or toasted pita wedges, carrot sticks, bell pepper strips, cucumber slices, etc.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the upper third of the oven. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent the eggplant from sticking to the pan.
- Halve the eggplants lengthwise and brush the cut sides lightly with olive oil. Place them in the prepared pan with the halved sides down. Roast the eggplant until the interior is very tender throughout and the skin is collapsing, about 35 to 40 minutes (this might take longer if you are using 1 large eggplant). Set the eggplant aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Flip the eggplants over and scoop out the flesh with a large spoon, leaving the skin behind.
Place a mesh strainer over a mixing bowl, then transfer the flesh to the strainer and discard the skins. Pick out any stray bits of eggplant skin and discard. You want to remove as much moisture from the eggplant here as possible, so let the eggplant rest for a few minutes and shake/stir the eggplant to release some more moisture.
- Discard all of the eggplant drippings, drain and wipe out the bowl, and dump the eggplant into the bowl. Add the garlic and lemon juice to the eggplant and stir vigorously with a fork until eggplant breaks down. Add the tahini to the bowl and stir until it’s incorporated. While stirring, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Continue stirring until the mixture is pale and creamy, and use your fork to break up any particularly long strings of eggplant.
- Stir in the parsley, salt and cumin. Season to taste with more salt and more lemon juice, if you’d like a more tart flavor.
- Transfer the baba ganoush to a serving bowl and lightly drizzle olive oil on top. Lastly, sprinkle parsley and smoked paprika on top. Serve with accompaniments of your choice.
-Large eggplants tend to contain more seeds, which can produce a bothersome texture. So, it’s better to use 2 small eggplants that weigh about 2 pounds total, rather than 1 large. Choose eggplants that are shiny and smooth (no mushy parts), and feel heavy for their size. Turn your eggplant into baba ganoush promptly, since overripe eggplant tastes more bitter.
-You can reduce the olive oil to as little as 2 to 3 tablespoons if you wish, but your dip won’t be as rich and creamy.
-Colonel Mustard chiming in to say that the recipe author is the one who suggests 2 cloves of garlic. I tend to at least double the garlic that recipes call for, and would probably do the same here.