Baba Ghanoush Dip

  • Serves: Makes 4 servings
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This is a Middle Eastern eggplant dip or is sometimes added to other dishes. However, I like to use Japanese eggplant to make mine. Japanese eggplant are sweeter than regular eggplant when roasted and have almost no seeds, but two medium sized regular eggplants will do as a substitute. Eggplant has a lot of water, so make sure you drain them after charring and taking their skins off. Draining ensures that you dip won't be too watery. Charring their skins will infuse the eggplants with a nice subtle smoky flavor. You can optionally add extra heat to the dip by adding in a small amount of pequin peppers, but remember they are one of the hottest peppers, so take care with the amount you use. Almost 10 times hotter than a jalapeno, the tiny pequin swings a huge heat hammer. Chile pequin rank 40,000 to 60,000 on the Scoville scale or 9-10 on the heat scale. Take care not to get them on your skin or rub yours eyes when using.
We want to help prevent food waste and show you ways to use what we call misshapen or ugly produce. 
Join our Ugly Produce is Beautiful Educational Campaign, helping to bring awareness to our Nation's enormous food waste problem. This recipe shows you how to use ugly produce in beautiful and delicious ways!

8 small Japanese eggplant
2/3 cup tahini
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon seeded chili pequin pepper (can be fresh or dried) or red chili flakes, optional 

For serving:
Olive oil
​Chopped scallions
Cucumber wedges

1. Either on the top shelf of your broiler, or directly on the burner of your gas stove, char the eggplant, turning often to insure every bit of skin is blackened and flaky. Literally burn the skin off the eggplant. 
Don’t worry, you’re going to peel off the charred skin, as this is where the smoky aroma will come from.

2. Set the charred eggplant aside until it is cool enough to handle. Flake most of the black skin off.

3. Shred the eggplant by pulling it apart with your fingers and place it in a mesh strainer for 30 minutes to drain the extra liquid. Discard the liquid.

4. Place the eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, salt, and chili pequin (optional) in a blender. 
Blend until the Baba Ghanoush​ is well blended.

Garnish with more olive oil and chopped scallions. Serve with cucumber wedges or chips.

Store in the refrigerator. Stir before using.

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