Communal Kitchen: Grilled Eggplant with Lemon Tahini and Baba Ganoush

Behold The Eggplant!

 

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The eggplant. In my house, it's an item usually purchased one at a time, in sporadic bursts, for the sole purpose of making eggplant parm and not much else. However today, I will retire the frying pan and tomato sauce and succeed in creating something flavorful, nutritious and filling!

 

This week while I attended our bi-weekly market place I was inspired by our ingredients to make something different. On the menu is a grilled eggplant and chard sandwich with fresh tomatoes, goat cheese and lemon tahini sauce. As an appetizer, we’ll  have some baba ganoush and pita bread.

 

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For those without a with a gas or charcoal grill, much of this can be recreated on a George Foreman, panini press or cast iron grill pan. You’ll want to get all of your items prepped for grilling first, so you can get that out of the way in one shot.

 

Baba Ganoush

 

Ingredients:

1 large Eggplant

¼ cup tahini

3-4 garlic cloves minced

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Pinch of cumin

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Pinch of paprika

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

 

1) Give your eggplant a good wash and prick the skin all over with a fork.

 

2) Preheat your oven to 375f. (we’ll be coming back)

 

3) You’ll want your grill around medium heat for this part, and place your WHOLE EGGPLANT about 4-5 inches from the flames, turning frequently. You'll notice the skin of the eggplant starting to blister and turn black, around 10-15 minutes, this is exactly what you want.

 

COOKING TIP- You can’t overcook your eggplant for this recipe, so don’t feel like you need to be exact for cooking times. In the end, it's all going into a blender.

 

4) Transfer your eggplant to a baking sheet, and bake for another 15-20 mins, or until your eggplant is VERY soft.

 

5) Once the eggplant has cooled a bit, you should be able to peel the skin with a knife and discard.

 

6) Blend your eggplant, tahini, garlic, lemon juice and spices until smooth. Serve at room temperature.

 

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Grilled Eggplant and Chard with Lemon Tahini Sauce

 

Ingredients:

 

1 Large eggplant, washed and sliced 1/2in thick

3-4 leaves chard, washed and patted dry (Kale would be a terrific substitute!)

Cherry tomatoes, washed and halved

Goat Cheese

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) - for brushing vegetables

Salt and Pepper to season during grilling

Pita (Naan and wheat wraps are great too)  

 

 

 

Lemon Tahini Sauce

 

½ c tahini

¼ c water

1 lemon juiced

1-2 garlic cloves, minced

 ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Dash of smoked paprika

Salt & pepper to taste

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1) For your Lemon Tahini sauce, you can mix the tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic and seasoning in one shot. If you feel things are looking a little thick, you can always add a little more water.

 

2) Brush your chard with a little EVOO and sprinkle with a little salt/pepper.  Place it on the grill and cook until it’s seared and tender. (About a minute on both sides)

 

3) Brush your eggplant slices with EVOO and season with a little salt/pepper. Cook until they are soft and seared. (Around 5-6 minutes)

 

4) Build your sandwich however you like. I enjoyed mine as the recipe described, but my husband added both the tahini and the baba ganoush to his. Get creative and enjoy!

 

 

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