A few weeks ago, in the Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken Piccata post, I mentioned that James and I went on a trip to DC because he won an online poker tournament. What I didn’t have a chance to mention mention is that while we were down there, we had dinner at a Mediterranean restaurant called Zaytinya and it was one of my most-enjoyed dining out experiences to date. James and I still can’t stop talking about it. I’m slightly obsessed with the idea of going to all of the Jose Andres restaurants now.
We got a lot of different small dishes there, including an insane amount of lamb and never-ending baskets of warm, fresh pita bread. I couldn’t tell you what my favorite thing was because everything was fantastic, but James’ was “probably the Baba Ghanoush”, which is surprising because just a few months ago he swore he hated eggplant. Psh.
Garlicky, earthy, and a bit citrusy, Baba Ghanoush tastes very much like hummus, except the chickpeas have been replaced with meaty-tasting roasted eggplant. Topped off with pomegranate seeds for a few bursts of sweet and tartness, this dip has it all.
Serve this dip cold with pita bread, crackers, or veggie sticks, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly it gets devoured. It’s perfect for parties because it fits with a variety of lifestyles– gluten-free, paleo, vegan & vegetarian, and diet-friendly– but even the meat-eating and carb-fiending crews won’t be able to get enough. Also, it’s great for Friday night get-togethers now that Lent is beginning! Plus, did I mention that it’s delicious?
Because it is. It’s DEE-LISH.
- 2 medium eggplants
- ¼ cup tahini (sesame paste)
- Juice of one large lemon
- 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, optional
- Pomegranate Seeds, to garnish
- Pita, for dipping
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the tahini, lemon juice, cumin, and salt. Cover and refrigerate.
- Turn the broiler on high and adjust the oven rack to middle position. Line a baking sheet with foil.
- Pierce the eggplants all over with a fork to let steam escape. Place the eggplants on the baking sheet and broil, turning every minute or so, until the skin darkens, about 8-10 minutes total.
- Turn off the broiler, but leave the eggplants in the oven. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and roast the eggplants for 30 more minutes, or until the eggplant is very soft. Let cool.
- Split the eggplants in half and drain the excess water. Use a spoon to scrape out the roasted eggplant and add it to the refrigerated tahini mixture.
- Mash the eggplant into the tahini mixture until smooth or quickly process it together. Drizzle the top with olive oil and sprinkle with a few pomegranate seeds.
- Serve with pita, crackers, chips, or veggies.
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