Still determined to use up the great variety of herbs in my fridge, I was excited to have stumbled across a recipe for Babaganoush (or, eggplant spread, as the magazine called it) in an issue of Whole Living. Their recipe calls for thyme as well as 3 TBSP of minced herbs (I used parsley and chives). I love how it instructs you to insert the thyme and garlic into slits in the eggplant so everything gets all nice and roasted together! While I stuck pretty close to the recipe I did however, make a few adjustments based on my own personal preferences. For example, I like my baba with tahini to give it a nice nutty taste and thicker texture. Alas, as I went to fetch my tahini I discovered it was far past its prime! Whats an amateur chef to do? Thinking on my toes, I decided that peanut butter may produce a similar affect, and to my luck, it did! I love finding quick ingredient substitutes in the kitchen because it keeps things creative, and you never know what kind of happy accident you may stumble upon! This dip makes a fantastic dinner party appetizer, served with warm multigrain pita bread and some olives for snacking!
- 4 medium eggplant, halved lengthwise
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 12 1-inch pieces fresh thyme
- 2 TBSP olive oil
- 3 TBSP minced parsley and chives
- 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
- 3 TBSP peanut butter
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flake
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Arrange eggplant cut side up on baking sheets. Make slits in the eggplant and insert the garlic and thyme. Drizzle with olive oil and season with 1/2 tsp salt. Bake until tender, about 1 hour.
Remove from the oven and let cool, about 20 mintues. Scoop the flesh into a food processor. Add herbs, lemon juice, peanut butter and red pepper flake. Pulse until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste and pulse to blend. This dip will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Enjoy with pita, crackers or slice fresh veggies!