Eggplant is a vegetable beloved throughout the world: from the Mediterranean region to China. However, there are two nationalities who take their eggplant very seriously: The Israelis and the Romanians. I happen to be both. That is why when I go out to eat I always look on the menu for eggplant, whether in a Greek Moussaka or a Chinese stir-fry dish. At home I am constantly looking for different ways to make eggplant, but I always come back to my favorite: the baba ghanoush. I eat it straight with a spoon but you can serve it with cucumber slices, baked whole wheat pita chips or whole wheat crackers. This recipe may seem difficult at first but after you try it once, you will see just how easy it is. To me, the most difficult part of the recipe is waiting for the baba ghanoush to be chilled in the refrigerator – you’re supposed to chill it for three hours but the most I can wait is one hour. Yes, I like it that much! And what’s not to like? It’s got only five ingredients and they’re all-natural. Eggplants are low in calories and carbohydrates and contain a large number of vitamins and minerals. Eggplants also contain phytonutrients which block free radicals. One of them is chlorogenic acid, which has been found to be anti-cancer, anti-microbial and prevents bad cholesterol (LDL).
One eggplant (long, airy and light)
Juice from ½ a lemon
¼ cup raw tahini (preferably one made from roasted sesame seeds)
One teaspoon garlic paste or minced garlic
Salt to taste
Wash & dry the eggplant. Take out your stove top and place a piece of foil, cutting a hole in the middle. Replace stovetop, turn on gas to medium flame and place eggplant on top of the open flame. Do not pierce the eggplant. Using a silicone oven mitt, turn eggplant every 2-3 minutes until the skin looks like burnt paper (it’s ok if it drips). After about ten minutes or so the eggplant should be very soft. If it isn’t (which is usually the case for me), wrap tightly in foil and put in oven for 20 minutes at 250 degrees. Put in colander to drain the fluids and when it cools down, peel it or spoon out the contents into a bowl.
Mix with the rest of the ingredients and chill in refrigerator for three hours.