Layer alternating slices of tomatoes and mozzarella, adding a basil leaf between each, on a large, shallow platter. Drizzle the salad with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
BABA GHANOUSH SALAD
Classic Baba Ghanoush – Recipe for smoky Middle Eastern roasted eggplant dip with tahini, garlic, lemon, olive oil and spices.
In Arabic, “baba” means father and “ghanoush” means spoiled. This “spoiled dad” dip is the creamier companion to hummus. Popular in Arab countries throughout the Middle East, it is also a common appetizer on the Sephardic Jewish table. In Israel, it is known as eggplant salad, or Salat Hatzilim. It is sometimes made with roasted bell peppers, and often mayonnaise is added for richness. I’ve even tasted sweet baba ghanoush with a touch of sugar in it. While I’ve provided a more classic version here, there are endless variations on this theme.
Classic Baba Ghanoush
Learn to make Classic Baba Ghanoush dip with smoky roasted eggplant, tahini, garlic, lemon, olive oil and spices.
- 2 medium eggplants (about 3 lbs. total), roasted
- 1/3 cup tahini from light seeds, not “dark tahini”
- 3 cloves garlic roasted (or 1 raw, crushed)
- 2 whole fresh lemons, juiced or more to taste
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt or more to taste
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh parsley for garnish (optional); you can also top with a sprinkle of paprika or smoked paprika.
- Roast the eggplant. You will find that roasting over an open flame will produce a smokier, richer flavor. Place the roasted eggplant pulp into a bowl with half of the smoky cooking liquid. Discard the skin and reserve the remaining cooking liquid. Let the eggplant return to room temperature
- Add tahini, garlic, fresh lemon juice, cumin, salt, cayenne pepper and 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil to the bowl. Use a fork and/or spoon to mash together the mixture, using firm pressure to break up the tahini paste, roasted garlic, and any stringiness of the eggplant. Mix until well combined. Note- I don’t recommend using a food processor here, the texture is most authentic when using a fork to mash.
Taste the dip. Add additional tahini, lemon juice, salt or cayenne pepper, if desired. The cayenne is extremely spicy, so add with care.
Drizzle the surface of the dip lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired. Serve as a dip with pita bread, crackers or chips. If you prefer a cold dip, chill in the refrigerator prior to garnish. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.
Make a fresh and colourful Greek salad in no time. It’s great with grilled meats at a barbecue, or on its own as a veggie main
- Prep: 15 mins Serves 4 as a side – easily doubled for main course
- 4 large vine tomatoes, cut into irregular wedges
- 1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded, then roughly chopped
- ½ a red onion, thinly sliced
- 16 Kalamata olives
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 85g feta cheese, cut into chunks (barrel matured feta is the best)
- 4 tbsp Greek extra virgin olive oil
- Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl, lightly season, then serve with crusty bread to mop up all of those beautiful juices.
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