|Baba Ghanoush made by Eric Ruttum|
1 large eggplant (about 1 to 1 ½ lbs.)
2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup lemon juice, or to taste
3 Tbsp. olive oil
Cumin, salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Cover a baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly coat with oil.
2. Wash the outside of the eggplant and pierce the skin all around with a sharp knife. Place the eggplant on the prepared pan and bake for about 45-50 minutes, turning half-way through. The eggplant skin should be wrinkled and the pulp soft.
(Even better: Charring the eggplant over an open flame or under a broiler will produce a naturally smoky flavor which truly enhances the dish.)
3. Remove eggplant from oven, slit it lengthwise and place in a colander (in the sink, please!) to drain for about 15 minutes.
4. Scoop the pulp out of the skin, slightly mashing it. Place pulp into the bowl of a food processor. Add the chopped garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and seasonings; blend until smooth. (If you don’t have a food processor, mash eggplant with a wooden spoon – or whatever mashing tool you have - and beat in the remaining ingredients until well-blended.)
5. Allow flavors to combine for at least 30 minutes before serving. This tastes best at room temperature. Refrigerated leftovers – if you have any - should keep for about 3 days.