BEST BABA GANOUSH!

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So every time a Yom Tov arrives I get inspired. Not just for the Yom Tov but for the tastes and smells that Yom Tov brings into our home.

I feel like I am infusing deep memories into the hearts and minds of my children for years to come, with flavor, seasonings, and huge doses of love and affection.

So, enjoy these new recipes that I’m experimenting with!

Soul food to be served with soul searching.

Smoky Eggplant Dip 

From Smitten Kitchen

Makes about 2 cups

2 medium eggplants (about 1 pound each)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt, or to taste
6 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste), well-stirred if a new container
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or pressed
Juice of 1 lemon, plus more to taste, if desired
Pinch of cayenne or aleppo pepper (I omitted)
Pinch or two of ground cumin
2 tablespoons well-chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
Toasted sesame seeds or za’atar for garnish (I omitted)

Heat oven to 375°F. Brush a baking sheet or roasting pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Prick eggplants a few times with a fork or tip of a knife. Over a gas flame, grill or under a broiler, evenly char the skin of your eggplants. Transfer to a cutting board, and when cool enough to handle, trim off stem and cut lengthwise. Place cut side down on prepared baking sheet and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, until very, very tender when pressed. Let cool to room temperature.

In a blender or food processor: Scrape eggplant flesh from skin and into the work bowl. Add tahini, lemon, cayenne, cumin and 1 tablespoon parsley. Blend in short bursts (pulses) until combined but still coarsely chopped. (I like a more chunky texture so I use a knife and fork to sort of chop it up and do not use a food processor. If you like this texture as well, simply add the remaining ingredients to the chopped eggplant)

By hand: Scrape eggplant flesh from skin and onto a cutting board. Finely chop the eggplant, leaving some bits closer to pea-sized. In a bowl, whisk together tahini, garlic, lemon, cayenne, cumin and half the parsley. Add chopped eggplant and stir to combine.

Taste and adjust ingredients if needed. I usually need more salt and lemon.

To serve: Spoon into a bowl and drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Scatter with second tablespoon of parsley, and some toasted sesame seeds or za’atar, if desired. .

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