I made this Babaganoush-like recipe from Smitten Kitchen twice last week, that’s how much I love it. It’s filling, healthy, and goes great with sliced cucumbers, peppers, or a hunk of bread. Plus, it’s easy and fun to make-- char your eggplant over your gas stove before roasting it in the oven and tossing it in the blender with a few other simple ingredients. Do yourself a favor and make a double batch. Find your eggplants, cucumbers, peppers, and bread at any of our markets.
Heat oven to 375°F. Brush a baking sheet or roasting pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Prick eggplants a few times with a fork or tip of a knife. Over a gas flame, grill or under a broiler, evenly char the skin of your eggplants. I like mine quite smoky and like to leave no purple visible. Transfer to a cutting board, and when cool enough to handle, trim off the stem and cut lengthwise. Place cut side down on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, until very, very tender when pressed. Let cool to room temperature.
In a blender or food processor: Scrape eggplant flesh from skin and into the work bowl. Add tahini, lemon, cayenne, cumin, and 1 tablespoon parsley. Blend in short bursts (pulses) until combined but still coarsely chopped.
By hand: Scrape eggplant flesh from skin and onto a cutting board. Finely chop the eggplant, leaving some bits closer to pea-sized. In a bowl, whisk together tahini, garlic, lemon, cayenne, cumin, and half the parsley. Add chopped eggplant and stir to combine.
Both methods: Taste and adjust ingredients if needed. I usually need more salt and lemon.
To serve: Spoon into a bowl and drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Scatter with the second tablespoon of parsley, and some toasted sesame seeds or za’atar, if desired. Serve with pita wedges.
Market Umbrella is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3), based in New Orleans, whose mission is to cultivate the field of public markets for public good. Market Umbrella has operated the Crescent City Farmers Markets (CCFM) since 1995.
The Crescent City Farmers Market operates weekly year-round in four New Orleans neighborhoods. The CCFM hosts nearly 80 local small farmers, fishers and food producers, and more than 100,000 shoppers annually.