Monday, March 28, 2011

Smoky Baba Ganoush a la Liz

Here is the promised recipe from the picture in the last post...

Place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and roast at 475° until charred and soft all over (about 40 minutes):
Eggplant: 5 small or 2 large
Yellow onion: 1, coarsely chopped
Garlic: 1 whole head (cut off top, sprinkle with olive oil, and wrap in foil)

Remove from oven and place in a large glass bowl, covered with foil to trap moisture in while they cool.

When cool enough to handle, scrape insides of eggplants into a large food processor (or back into the glass bowl if you are using an immersion blender instead). The skins are bitter, so avoid getting any eggplant skin in your ganoush. Squeeze roasted garlic out of papery skin and add to eggplant along with the following ingredients, and pulse or blend until smooth:

Tahini: 1/3 cup
Parsley: 1 cup of leaves
Cumin: 2 teaspoons
Salt: 1 teaspoon (minimum, more to taste)
Pepper: 1 teaspoon
Lemon juice: 1 tablespoon
Olive oil: 1 tablespoon (minimum, more to taste)

I've found that this ganoush is best very fresh and served at room temperature...and to give it a little extra smokiness I like to char the eggplants before roasting them by rotating them over a flame and blackening the skins. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"Fertile Crescent" Red Lentil Soup

Last night I utilized both of my top hobbies – cooking and drawing on people with henna – for a party that was a fundraiser for my church. Several people asked for the soup recipe, and since I haven't blogged for two months, it seemed a great time to get back on the wagon! (The lapse is due to buying a house and moving, but who needs excuses to slack off?)

Put in a large pot and bring to a boil:

2 cups small dry red lentils
8 cups water
2 cups chopped yellow onion
6 minced garlic cloves
2 tsp. freshly ground cumin seed
2 tsp. freshly ground coriander seed

Cook until the lentils are mush and breaking down, about 30 minutes depending on size. Let it cool a bit, then puree at least half of the soup (I use an immersion blender, you really need to get one – see my post for Tunisian Pumpkin Soup). Add more water as necessary to get a good consistency, you want it to be soupy, not gloopy. Return to low heat, and add:

3 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 cup white wine
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Cook for ten minutes, until spinach is turning dark, and then add:

2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup chopped cilantro

Stir, and adjust salt and pepper to taste! Enjoy!

p.s. I'll post the recipe for the pictured baba ganoush next :-)