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2 large eggplants
1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3-4 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons treurer’s extra virgin olive oil, plus extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
Knife and cutting board
Food processor or hand blender
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Wash and dry the eggplants, then cut them in half lengthwise. Make diamond-shaped cuts in the flesh of the eggplants with a knife, without piercing the skin. Drizzle the eggplants generously with olive oil and place them flesh side down on the baking sheet.
Bake the eggplants for 30-40 minutes, or until the skin is dark and wrinkled and the flesh is very tender. Remove the eggplants from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes until you can handle them.
When the eggplants are cool enough to handle, use a spoon to scrape out the flesh and discard the skin. Transfer the pulp to a colander and let it drain for a few minutes to remove excess liquid.
In a food processor or using a hand blender, blend the eggplant pulp, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin and smoked paprika (if using). Process until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste. If the mixture is too thick, you can add a little more olive oil or lemon juice to lighten it.
Transfer the Baba Ganoush to a mixing bowl and, if necessary, adjust to taste with more salt, pepper, lemon juice or olive oil. If you want an even smoother texture, you can blend it a little more with a hand blender.
To serve, place the Baba Ganoush in a deep dish or shallow bowl. With a spoon, make a small hole in the center and pour a little extra virgin olive oil..
Sprinkle the dish with smoked paprika and toasted sesame seeds, if desired.
Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve with warm pita bread, vegetable crudités or even as part of a Mediterranean appetizer board.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Baba Ganoush may firm up a bit in the refrigerator, so let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes and stir before serving.
Baba Ganoush is a versatile and delicious appetizer that highlights the flavor of eggplant and olive oil. This recipe is easy to customize to your liking and is perfect for sharing with friends and family at a dinner party or special event. Enjoy!