Veggie Grilling 101: Baba Ghanoush Recipe

You bought those two eggplants—now what in the hell are you going to do with them? Toss ‘em on a hot grill, watch them start to blacken and wilt and just when you think they are destined for the garbage bin, peel off the charred skin and whip up homemade baba ghanoush with this recipe from Steven Raichlen’s How to GrillYep, today’s Veggie Grilling 101 post is all about the eggplant! Which excites me oh so much. Clearly.
To begin, you will need two eggplants, cylindrical in shape, weighing about 1 pound each and 6 cloves of garlic. Peel the garlic and slice each clove into three or four lengthwise wedges. Wash your eggplant and make small slits, about ½ inch long, with your paring knife randomly around the eggplant. Insert the garlic wedges in the slits.
Preheat your grill to high. Place the garlic-studded eggplants on the hot grate and grill until the skins are charred all over and the flesh is very soft. Approximately 20 to 30 minutes, turning every so often with tongs.
Remove to a plate and let cool. Cut off each end and remove the burnt skin. Don’t worry about removing it all—a few flecks add character. Coarsely puree the grilled eggplants and garlic in a food processor.
Add 3 tablespoons tahini, 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper and process until smooth. Taste for seasoning, adding salt or lemon juice as necessary; the mixture should be very flavorful.
Add 3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley and process in short bursts, just to mix. Too much processing will result in green dip!
Spoon the dip into a small bowl lined with lettuce leaves and sprinkle with paprika.
Serve with pita chips or naan bread for an authentic Mid-Eastern appetizer.
Did you pass Veggie Grilling 101 with flying colors? Let us know if you had a favorite recipe. —Karen

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