I can’t even say the words “Baba Ganoush” without thinking of Dana Carvey mocking Dennis Miller on Weekend Update. So, you’ll understand why I giggle every single time I think of this addictive Middle Eastern dish. It’s not that eggplants aren’t amusing enough (and they so are…especially the exploding ones), but the SNL sketch was pure comedy gold and had me calling everyone “Baba Ganoooooosh”. See, I’m laughing now, just thinking about it.
The funny thing is, when I first saw that sketch, I had never tried Baba Ganoush. It always just seemed a bit too ookie* for me. (Yes, there was a time when I was not-so-adventurous). Once I tried it, though, it was love at first, smoky bite. I have had a couple good restaurant versions, and the canned stuff is absolutely acceptable (with a little doctoring**), but when it comes to “the ‘noush”, homemade is definitely where it’s at.
With only myself to feed and a baby eggplant rolling around in the fridge, I grabbed the chance to whip up a quick, single-sized batch of Baba Ganoush***. It started with a near-fail, but came together beautifully. I served it over a bowl of pan steamed green beans and grape tomatoes with cumin seed and fresh dill (which was an unlikely, but ethereal combination). You might want to eat yours with something more traditional, like pita bread. Or a spoon.
Baba Ganoush for One
1 baby (or small) eggplant, roasted and skin removed
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1 tsp tahini, or ½ tsp sesame oil
½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
pinch ground cumin
salt to taste
Roughly chop eggplant and combine with garlic, tahini, lemon and cumin in a mini-food processor. Puree until smooth. Taste and add salt as desired.
Makes about 1/2 cup.
* Ookie = weird and/or gloppy (from the Bectionary)
** The canned stuff can be bland, so I always add a little fresh lemon, salt and cumin to amp the flavour.
*** Really, I could eat this stuff by the bucket, but just because I can, doesn’t mean I should. Restraint, restraint.