Baba Ghanoush (Eggplant with Tahini)

In Israel, it is not unusual for guests to drop in for a visit without prior notice. In such cases, they are likely to get a light snack or impromptu meal. In anticipation of such contingencies, one such prepared dish is baba ghanoush, which can be found in virtually every Israeli refrigerator.

1 large eggplant
1 medium onion
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 cup tahini
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon salt
dash of cayenne pepper
  1. Place whole unpeeled eggplant directly on a gas burner with flame set at medium, turning as the skin chars and inside becomes soft, or bake in a pan at 450° until charred and tender (about 30 minutes).
  2. Let cool slightly, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out eggplant pulp with wooden spoon (the wooden spoon preserves the flavor).
  3. Chop fine in a ceramic or wooden bowl.
  4. Grate onion on largest holes of a grater. Squeeze juice from onion. Chop parsley fine and blend with eggplant and onion.
  5. In a separate bowl, blend tahini thoroughly with lemon juice and garlic. Stir in small amount of water until white in color. Add to eggplant mixture, with salt and dash of cayenne pepper. More lemon may be added for extra flavor. Garnish with parsley.