What’s For Dinner?
Baba Ghanouj - from Nicola's
(First star is lowest, fourth star is highest)
From the menu of . . . Nicola's
1602 LaVista Road N.E., Atlanta
Q: Nicola's Baba Ganoush: This is probably misspelled, but I would love the recipe.
-- Jennie Caine, Atlanta
A: That spelling of the Middle Eastern dish works just fine, as do several others. No matter how you spell it, though, you'll still get a wonderfully smoky spread made with eggplant, sesame, lemon and garlic.
"That is one of the most healthy things you can get, " says owner Nicola Ayoub, who introduced his customers to the dish more than two decades ago.
Hands on time: 10 minutes Total time: 1 hour and 20 minutes Serves: 8
1 fancy eggplant (slightly over 1 pound)
4 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled
Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
3 tablespoons tahini (see cook's note)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
In a blender, puree the garlic and lemon juice. Add the tahini and blend. Cut the stem top off the eggplant, peel it and drop it in the blender, along with any juices that collected in the baking dish. Add the salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Puree. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer the baba ghanouj to a serving dish and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
Cook's note: Tahini, a paste made of sesame seeds, is available in most grocery stores.