Baba Ghanouj

The most important part of this dish is roasting the eggplant. You can do this on a gas stove-it makes a mess, but the flavor can't be beat. Other options are on a grill, under a broiler, or in a hot oven. The oven is least preferable because it can't give the eggplant the desired slightly charred flavor.

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  • 3 pounds eggplant
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame-seed paste)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
To roast the eggplant, set each eggplant directly on the flame, grill, or grate. (If you're using the oven, set a tray on the rack under the eggplant to catch any drips.) The eggplant will start to crack and give off juices; it should become an ashy grayblack. Turn it as it cooks, but be careful-as it softens under heat, it becomes difficult to move without splitting. When the eggplant is charred gray and very tender all the way through, transfer it to a plate to cool.
Slice off the top of the cooled eggplant, and then cut it in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to carefully remove all the pulp, but avoid any bits of blackened skin. With a fork, stir the eggplant to break up large pieces and add the rest of the ingredients. Taste as you mix and adjust seasoning. Turn the baba ghanouj into a bowl and chill before serving.
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