Ba ba ba ba Barbara Ann
Ba ba ba ba Barbara Ann….
No, sorry, I didn’t mean to quote the Beach Boys, I meant to talk about eggplant. We are getting A LOT of it in our share now and if your eggplant repertoire is a little lean, you might like some ideas on how to turn the purple orbs into a raucous crowd pleaser. So let’s start again…
Ba ba ba, baba ghanoush!
The singable name comes from the Arabic phrase baba gannuj, in which baba means father or daddy and gannuj means pampered. The name may have been a reference to its supposed invention by a member of a royal harem, and the pampered daddy may have been a sultan. In the absence of a harem, we can still paper our loved ones with a delicious and easy to make purée of roasted eggplant (also known as aubergine), garlic, and tahini that they can scoop on grilled pita and sliced carrots, or spread on fresh tomatoes or grilled meat, or make a super sandwich with some of the salad greens and a slab of tomato.
Eggplants belong to the nightshade family of vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, bell peppers and potatoes (all in season now). They grow much like tomatoes, hanging from a plant that grows several feet in height. We grow them in the hoop house, and also in the field.
- Two large eggplant
- Tahini, 1/3 cup
- Olive oil, 2-3 tbsp
- Lemon Juice, ½ cup
- Garlic, diced fine (but you could substitute your fantastic sweet onions)
- Salt (don’t skimp)
Rub eggplant with olive oil, prick all over with a fork and roast @ 450, turning, until the skin has blackened and the interior is tender ~25 minutes. Let cool. Peel and seed, roughly chop, and transfer to a food processor.
Into the processor bowl add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Process the mixture to a coarse paste, adding a bit of water as needed to allow the mixture to blend. Season and serve!
And in case you haven’t gotten around to the delicious breaded and baked eggplant with mozzarella and tomato posted on 8/22, and last year Lucretia posted a recipe for a delicious Eggplant dish called Fragrant Fish Eggplant by Fuchsia Dunlop.
Alicia Heyburn, Sept. 2016.