Tag Archives: tahini

Best Baba Baby! (“R” rated but worth it!)

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A very small amount of the hand mushed and textured version of Baba Ganouj/Ganoush. The small cup is a favorite of mine, meant for green tea, but graced with a frog (my favorite creature) and sitting on one of my brother Paul Barchilon’s tiles.

1–5 eggplants (the big round/long ones, not small Japanese ones). The variation in amounts of eggplant is related to how much you want to have on hand for the volume of folks you are serving

tahini 1 tablespoon per eggplant

juice of ¾ to one whole lemon per eggplant

salt (a few shakes or pinches of good salt, not table salt) See my post Let’s Talk Salt.

drizzle of olive oil (approximately ¼ cup for 2 or more eggplants)

1–3 cloves of peeled garlic per eggplant. It is crucial to remove the centers of the garlic cloves for this dish, so your Baba is not bitter.

both garlic

DISCLAIMER: The following recipe descriptor is considered inappropriate by some. It is R rated and for mature audiences.

This is the easiest eggplant dish there is, and in fact the key is to forget you are making it. Wash your eggplant and fork it, then place it on a baking pan in the broiler or oven. You can do this over a flame or in a cast iron pan on the stove, but I don’t recommend doing it that way. It takes a lot more effort on your part. You have to turn it every few minutes so all the sides get exposed and the eggplant cooks through and through. The oven method is less hard on your fingers, but the flavor will be less smokey. Preheat your oven to 400° or use the lower rack of your broiler. The broiler method is much faster cooking and you have to turn the eggplants at least once, so it’s not the walk away method.

The key here is that once you’ve placed that eggplant in the oven, with some oil spread on the baking sheet or on a piece of tinfoil, walk away, wash your hair, write a few letters, do something else! When you smell the eggplant and wonder what that aroma is, then it is done.

It will be collapsed and mushy. This can take anywhere from 20–40 minutes depending on your eggplant. Using a hot pad or glove remove your eggplant from the broiler or oven. Let it sit for about twenty minutes until you can handle picking it up by its stem. My hands are seasoned from years of cooking, so I do this fairly quickly. You can wait an hour if you want. In a bowl, start to peel your eggplant, with your fingers. It will start to fall apart, that’s fine. If it’s a very seedy eggplant, get rid of as many seeds as you can with your hands. You need to gentle the seeds away from the pulp. The seeds can make this dish bitter. It’s very hard to get all of them without also losing some of your eggplant, so a few seeds is okay, but you want to remove as much of them as you can.

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Warm eggplants minus skin, waiting to be gently separated from their seeds.

This is the best part of the dish.  Getting intimate with a warm wet eggplant is like interacting with a certain lovely part of the female anatomy. In fact making this dish can be a good prelude to sexual activity. When you’re done enjoying yourself put the eggplant pulp into the blender or if you want to continue your sensual experience, mash it with your fingers or use a fork. It will be wet and juicy.

I often do this step directly over the blender if the eggplants aren’t super seedy since I want the smoked eggplant oils as part of the flavor. Discard the stem, the peels and the extra seeds. Combine all the other ingredients into the blender or your bowl and mix. Add more salt if you need to or more lemon. Serve warm with a garnish of fresh chopped parsley. This can be eaten with crackers, bread, vegetables, or served over rice. It is best at room temperature or warm. It will keep in the fridge for a week or so. Some folks like their Baba more blended with a creamy texture, others like it more thick and wild. Use the blender for the smoother variety and the fork and finger mushing for the chunkier variety. No matter which way you like your eggplants, you will enjoy making this dish!

From my heart, hands and other parts of me, Lots of Love to you as you get into your Baba! See Commandment number 6!

 

Hoummous ~ Hummus ~ Who?Moose

Hummus served right, in a beautiful Moroccan bowl, with Henry's Olive Oil, paprika and chopped parsley from my garden. The plate underneath the bowl was made by my brother Paul Barchilon
Hummus served right, in a beautiful Moroccan bowl, with Henry’s Olive Oil, paprika and chopped parsley from my garden. The plate underneath the bowl was made by my brother Paul Barchilon
  1. two cans (16 oz) of drained organic garbanzo beans (Westbrae Organic is my preference) when you aren’t soaking and making fresh beans, which is always better, but the Westbrae brand is very good.
  2. juice of 4–6 lemons depending on the juiciness/size of the lemons
  3. many cloves of fresh garlic, half to a full bulb’s worth with the centers of each clove removed. (see picture at end of recipe)
  4. ¼ cup or more of organic tahini (roasted or raw)
  5. ¼ – ½ cup of water to make the blender deal with all this (I went through a blender a year until I got a Vitamix, guaranteed for life and so far six years without a problem)
  6. ¼ cup or so of organic olive oil
  7. salt and pepper to taste
  8. chopped parsley
  9. paprika for color on top
  10. Za’atar if you can find it (Israeli herb mixture, try ordering on-line or ask everyone going to Israel to bring you some home)

The trick here is lots of lemon and garlic, if you use less than I recommend it won’t taste as good!

If you have the time, soak some organic chickpeas overnight, then boil for an hour and use those instead. If you don’t, it’s fine to use the canned ones. Rinse them thoroughly to get off the canned juice goo they come in. Blend all beans, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, water and ¼ cup olive oil, salt and pepper together in the blender. Start on your lower setting and build up. You don’t want your hummus too liquid and I like mine very blended. Taste and adjust, adding more lemon, salt, garlic, etc…

Discard, Dont Use!Pour out into a bowl for serving and then liberally douse with paprika, cover the entire surface with it, then drizzle olive oil over that and sprinkle freshly and finely chopped parsley or the Za’atar all over it. Serve with dinner, lunch, bread, and crackers or make sandwiches with artichoke hearts, tomato, lettuce, Dijon mustard and hummous, on French bread is best. (This is one of my favorite sandwiches.) This Who?Moose will keep for a week in a glass container.

Keep and Use
This recipe is in my cookbook, Divine Delights, Sephardic, French & Persian Foods ©2012 by Nicole Barchilon Frank, which is being updated and will be available for purchase here on this website in the not too distant future.