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Monday, November 24, 2014


Babbaganoush is a versatile salad, dip, appetizer or side dish consisting of roasted eggplant and fresh vegetables. It has gained in popularity as a healthy vegan option in the past few years and there are lots of variations out there. I'm sharing the traditional Middle Eastern way as prepared in Syria. Other versions that are made with tahini are actually an eggplant dip (imtabal) while this is more of a chunky salad. I love having leftovers of this salad sitting in my fridge for a quick lunch. Babbaganoush is a sensory experience of different flavors and textures, and lots of bright colors that enhance any food display.

Serves 2 as a main salad or 4 as an appetizer or dip

-1 large eggplant (aubergine). Mine weighed 1.25 pounds
-1 cup diced tomato
-1 cup chopped walnuts
-1 cup chopped parsley
-1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
-2/3 cup finely diced green onions
-1-2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (plus more to drizzle at the end)
-1 teaspoon lemon zest (or lemon juice, but I like the flavor of zest more)
-salt to taste
-Optional: drizzle of olive oil at the end

To make
Roasted, cooled and ready to be peeled
-Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash and dry the eggplant and pierce all around with a knife, creating pockets for the steam to emerge while roasting. Place on a baking pan and put in the center rack of your preheated oven for 45-60 minutes until the peel looks dry and the eggplant is very soft to the touch. Remove from the oven and let it cool before handling. As it cools and the steam emerges it will collapse. If you are preparing this in advance at this point you can refrigerate it for several days.
-Peel the cooled eggplant and place the insides into a mixing bowl. Add the chopped tomatoes, walnuts, parsley, pomegranate and green onions. Add pomegranate molasses, lemon zest and salt. Stir and taste. Adjust pomegranate molasses and salt to your taste.
-Top with a drizzle of pomegranate molasses and optional olive oil. Serve with pita chips or pita bread.

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