We were going to a dinner party. I wanted to bring something. I needed an excuse to finally make baba ganoush. Problem solved. I’ve read many a baba ganoush recipe, and frankly it always looked easy. Grill eggplant until it’s burnt and collapsed. Scrape into bowl. Mix in things. Serve. I don’t really know what took me so long since it’s definitely my favorite of the middle eastern/mediterranean dips. I love a good hummus, but eggplant will win out every single time.
Since I like to leave my fate in the hands of Bon Appétit, I went with the yogurt add-in even though it’s still a dairy I tend to avoid. It actually overwhelmed the flavor of the eggplant. The eggplant disappeared. Plan B kicked in, and I pulled out the jar of tahini and dropped in a tablespoon, stirred, tasted, and added another. Repeat. A couple tablespoons of tahini really brought this thing back to life for me. I’d probably avoid the yogurt next time for this reason. Never mind I probably shouldn’t be eating it.
When shopping for some vegetables to chop up to dip in it, cucumbers and carrots seemed obvious. I wanted something else, like bell pepper cut into strips. Then I saw the watermelon radish in all its glory. I hardly ever see them, but when I do I want it. Radishes are one of my all-time faves, so to have one to slice for this seemed to make sense. I didn’t use the mandoline, fearing that they’d be to paper thin [my mandoline skills are still beginner level], so I free-handed it. It worked out ok. This particular radish was exceptionally spicy. I was shocked. Thank god for a cooling dip like this.
There was a little bit of veggies left by the end of dinner, but the dip was gone. Success.
- 2 eggplants
- 1 clove of garlic, grated
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt [I used Fage]
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1/2 cup finely chopped mint
- 1/2 teaspoon [or more] crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Heat a gas grill to medium-high heat.
Place the eggplant on the grates and roast for 20-25 minutes. Occasionally turn them so that all sides are completely charred. The once-plump eggplant will collapse as the insides collapse. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and let cool to the touch.
Split the eggplants in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh from the skin into a medium bowl. Mash the eggplant with a fork to break up any leftover stringiness. Mix in the garlic, yogurt, tahini, mint, red pepper flakes and olive oil. Season with salt. I used a coarse smoked sea salt on top.
Serve with pita chips or crudités [chopped vegetables].