Baba Ganoush

Eating only what you grow can sometimes get a little boring  because at some times of the year only a few things are growing – but not at this time of year. This time of year we have a medley of vegetables in the garden and an overflowing freezer – I will have to get the bungy cords out soon to keep the lid on.

Baba Ganoush is a great favourite of my daughter and I. And since my garden is heaving with eggplant  that we call aubergine I thought I would whip up a batch of baba ganoush.  The eggplant sells very well at the markets by the way.

There are only a few ingredients in Baba Ganoush but like all simple recipes it relies heavily on having the very best of ingredients. The eggplant needs to be newly picked and cooked until it is smoking, preferably under or over fire  – then left to catch on fire if you are lucky.

The garlic needs to be fresh and hot, the pomegranate molasses    – the  best you can find and the tahini smooth and silky. And  of course the oil – the olive oil local and divine. (My local is California but it is the best I can do so far).

Pomegranate molasses is critical to baba ganoush I think.  Some people use lemon  but I love the molasses.

Incidently pomegranate molasses is wonderful used in salad dressings and today I am making an Italian ricotta cheesecake and have every intention of adding a swirl of the pomegranate molasses to amiably argue the sweetness of the cake. I made the ricotta yesterday and it yielded so much I am forced to make a cheesecake. Poor me.

Anyway,  seriouseats is the site I found with some really great tips about making baba ganoush. The best being straining the water out of the fruit with a salad spinner and the reminder to add the olive oil in a drizzle.  Never dump oil into anything wet.  Add it slowly while whipping or stirring.  Oil and water do not like to be mixed – they must be vigorously coaxed. 

The recipe on seriouseats is perfectly good  though I replaced the lemon with pomegranate molasses and not so much tahini. The tahini I have at the moment is very strong. This dish is one of those that you taste as you go along to get it right.

You can serve it with crackers or bread and yesterday we ate it alongside  roast chicken.

Much to my delight  John does not like baba ganoush. More for me.  It does not surprise me. As he has gotton older he has regressed back to the foods of his childhood. I think that deep down he wishes we would all stop introducing these exotic tastes and just stick with fried rice or chicken pot pie and store-bought bread, both of which he buys for himself when he goes shopping.

Speaking of bread.  Jake gave me this flour yesterday. Locally grown and ground. 

He had bought it to bake with but never had time so two packets had been languishing in his freezer for a couple of months.  The other pack is sifted. Delighted, of course (what a gift!).  I said to him, how much do I owe you and he said, oh a couple of slices of bread will do, and I said: Done. Jake loves my food. So I set a couple of loaves to rise and will be baking today.

Let’s hope Baker Pete pops in today to tell us what Hard Flour means – sounds like an oxymoron to me! And maybe one or two tips on working with stone ground flour?

I am interested to see how it cooks up with my bi weekly  bread recipe. 

I hope you have a lovely day

celi

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Don’t forget to sign up for the  Kitchens Garden Farm Newsletter – we are working on Edition Two right now. (Scroll right down past the comments and into the black to find the sign up button).  Every month will be a new theme with new artwork and new content and new additions to the shop all published on the same day as the newsletter. The September newsletter will be coming out after Labor Day.

On the full moon – September 6. (I hope – if all goes well).

WEATHER: Nice. Very nice.

Wednesday 08/30 10% / 0 in Partly cloudy skies. High 78F. Winds light and variable.

 Wednesday Night 08/3010% / 0 in Some clouds early will give way to generally clear conditions overnight. Low 59F. Winds light and variable

37 Comments on “Baba Ganoush

  1. Lovely pomegranates – I’m with you on the tahini – it can easily overpower all other flavours. I add it very slowly and keep tasting.

  2. Goodmorning 🙂

    It’s nice to see the date on the bag of flour to indicate the date of grinding and stone ground is the best. Hard wheat, as apposed to soft wheat, primarily indicates that it has a higher protein content and thus more gluten (a good thing particularly for bread making). Soft wheat is better for things like cakes. Here’s more than you want to know about wheat 😉 https://www.grainscanada.gc.ca/wheat-ble/classes/classes-eng.htm
    I prefer a variety that’s called Red Fife which is a hard wheat that was bred for this locality and has a great, distinct flavour. Post a picture of the baked bread 🙂

    • Thank you! I was hoping you would be in today- I hope your fire is roaring cooking batches of your lovely loaves. I often wish I lived close by to eat your croissants!

      • Yupe, the fire is in and getting ready for the day’s bake. I’ll need to send you the recipe for our croissants and you can make them there. In your spare time of course 😉 Oh, one important tip; don’t freeze flour, it doesn’t help.

  3. Those aubergines look amazing. I struggle to source the pomegranate molasses here so lemon has to make do but I do agree that it tastes so much better if you can get it. Sounds like my kind of day, cooking and baking.

  4. I love a dash of pomegranate molasses with berries, folded into Greek yoghurt – or cream for a fruit fool. Or a glug of it in lamb stew that’s been cooked with harissa and served with couscous. And hard flour is made from wheat with extra gluten so it makes extra stretchy dough that holds air well. Perfect for bread, but much too chewy for cakes.

  5. Lovely aubergines! I adore baba ghanoush, but have never made it with pomegranate molasses! I shall have to try it. Lovely having stone ground hard wheat. Your bread should be extra special today!

      • I assume you mean those nasty looking squash bugs? This year I planted borage right behind the trellises I grow the vine crops on – squash, melons and cucumbers – and (knock wood) I haven’t seen a squash bug yet. Of course the borage gets pretty tall so it’s sort of jungle like out there, you have to sort of dig through everything to find the fruits all the while trying not to irritate all the bees in the borage.

    • Lisa, I discovered a wonderful Thai Cucumber Salad recipe on the allrecipes site! It is just delicious! Sadly, like Celi, our cucumbers struggle to grow here as well. But I am putting every one into the recipe! Do try the salad! You’ll love it! 🙂

      • Thanks I will! I have never (knock wood) had cucumber beetles although I did have some squash worms (the ones that burrow into the stems) one year when I bought seedlings, now I always start my own squash and cucumbers from seeds.

  6. Your recipes are so lovely. Alas~ like “Our John”, I tend to lean heavily on the food of my youth so we eat a lot of “comfort food” in my house too. However, just the thought of homemade croissants is enough to get me out of my comfort food zone! 🙂

  7. Ohh I’ve never heard of pomegranate molasses, I shall look for some, and try this. Have a fab day. 😀

  8. Baba Ganoush is called melitzanosalata in Greece, and contains neither molasses nor tahini. So I will try your recipe now. X

    • I’ve long liked melitzanosalata. I don’t do serious cooking, so I’m satisfied to visit the Olympia Taverna here as often as I can.

  9. wow, as a girl brought up in Boston, I never thought my whole being would light up on words such as baba ghanoush or tadiq; as a Baha’i for over 50 years I’ve had the privilege of deep friendships and dinners around many a Persian friend’s table. Yep; baba ganoush; sp

  10. Your Baba Ganoush sounds delicious!
    And thanks to Baker Pete for the explanation on hard vs soft wheat flour (and All Purpose being 1/2&1/2; ). Sorry Pete, didn’t have time to check out that “Grains Canada” link… Have they gone and made up another Gov’t department? (Too much going on in Agriculture Canada these days, I guess):

  11. What a blessing to get new ideas here! Have made baba ganoush since I began cooking for a very ‘demanding’ husband but have not used pom molasses either. When our eggplant ‘comes in’ this will be on top of the recipe pile !!! Tahini: the amount used can actually vary tremendously and yet work. My very favourite ‘Hanadys Kitchen’ just published a hommus recipe with a full cup of tahini included for extra creaminess and it surely is perfect: but as she is a US/Palestinian living in the Middle-East I always try hers . . .

  12. Your babaganoush looks great, I like the pomegranate molasses you added. My favorite recipe with eggplants comes from one of Ina Garden’s early books. Cube the eggplants with the skin on, do the same with a red onion and red pepper. Mix with some olive oil and season with salt, pepper and some paprika, Roast in the oven on a cookie sheet until everything is soft, about an hour. I love eating it like this or you can make it into a spread by chopping it in the food processor with a little bit of tomato paste or ketchup.

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