Fresh flavour and low labour are what we crave come summertime. Thankfully, all you really need is time and some vibrant, fresh herbs for this dish to come together.
Simply pop the eggplant in the oven and while it’s cooking hammer out a quick living room workout (or chill out with a summery cocktail—no one is checking). By the time you’ve sufficiently de-stressed, your eggplant will be soft and scoopable.
Toss it with a few fragrant herbs and some fresh garlic and you’ve got an appy for two. Double the recipe and your weekly snack is taken care of.
We know there are some eggplant skeptics out there, so if you’re one of them, we urge you to give this dish a try. The undercooked, spongy eggplant that haunts most of our vegetable memories is something to fear. But cooked until creamy-smooth and seasoned like a boss, this dish doesn’t even resemble the same source.
Besides making a tasty baba ganoush, the eggplant houses chlorogenic acid—a potent free radical scavenger. Benefits of this antioxidant include preventing cancer, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and viruses.
Summer fresh just took on a whole new meaning.
Summer Fresh Baba Ganoush
Note: This recipe can be doubled, but depending on the size of your eggplants and how much “meat” they produce, you may want to adjust your seasonings. Start with the recommended amount of salt and herbs and add more if necessary.
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Mix together the spice mixture until incorporated and set aside.
3. Trim the tough leaves off the eggplants and cut them in half vertically. Place the eggplants on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the spice blend and drizzle with grape seed oil, rubbing the eggplant so that it’s well distributed.
4. Bake eggplants in the oven for approximately an hour, or until the eggplant is completely soft and mushy in the centre. Check after 30 minutes and every 10 minutes afterward until done. The eggplant should be easily scoopable with a spoon.
5. When it’s done, scoop it onto a cutting board and give it a fine chop. You want to make sure that all of the strands are broken down and everything is soft.
6. Toss the chopped eggplant in a bowl with the garlic, kosher salt, and herbs. Taste and add a small squeeze of lemon if you choose. Serve with crackers, pitas, or any type of Middle Eastern flatbreads, like these.