I’m going to be completely honest: I made this recipe because I had an eggplant that was about to go bad. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Or, maybe a more fitting phrase (considering I hardly invented baba ghanoush) would be: An almost past-its-prime vegetable provides the opportunity for an experiment.
This particular eggplant was afflicted with more than a few dents, but it maintained its firm, shiny surface and gorgeous deep purple color. After charring it over an open burner, much like my mother taught me to do with tomatoes do get the skin off in one fell swoop, the eggplant fell apart beautifully in the oven. It took on a lovely, creamy texture when pureed with all the ingredients, even though I omitted the tahini that one recipe called for. The smokiness of the eggplant was a great combination with the fresh cilantro and citrus of the lemon. Reduce the cayenne if you’re not a spice-lover.
When a grain, greens, and yogurt are added, this dip functions as a complete light meal.
Adapted from recipes from www.davidlebovitz.com and The New York Times
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
A handful of spinach, or another leafy green
Pita or lavash bread, toasted