Cuisine and Culture a History of Food and People
If someone were to ask you to name the first Middle Eastern food you can think of, you might say humus or shish kabobs. While both of these are delicious, they are by far not the only delicacies that places like Lebanon, Syria and Israel have to offer. That’s why you should not go another second without learning about – and eventually tasting – baba ghanoush.
This exotic-sounding spread made of roasted pureed eggplant, garlic and tahini is usually served as an appetizer or side dish. It is common to make this savory treat with additional ingredients such as onion, mint and coriander. When paired with fresh, warm pita bread, even the most humble eggplant spread can become the star of the culinary show.
It starts by preparing the eggplant. You can char the vegetable over one of the burners of your stove or bake it in the oven at 400F. Once it is charred or baked, let it cool, and then skin it and drain the juices. Place it in the bowl of a food processor, adding the rest of your ingredients. Process the mixture to the desired consistency, garnish with parsley, serve and enjoy.
Middle Eastern food varies widely according to the culture of the cooks who prepare it. That being said, baba ghanoush is a staple in virtually every nation in that part of the world. As with many other Jewish and Arabic preparations that originate in this ancient cradle of civilization, this eggplant spread is nutritious, simple and versatile. Although you may not have heard of it until now, its few ingredients are available almost anywhere. Whether you want to impress guests at a dinner party or just give your family a new taste sensation, go out and buy an eggplant, take a few minutes to prepare and season it and revolutionize your next meal.