Baba Ganoush

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This recipe was prepared by Chef John Maxwell on Real Virginia, Virginia Farm Bureau’s weekly television program.

Maxwell, a certified executive chef, culinary educator and member of the American Academy of Chefs, shares delicious seasonal recipes in a Real Virginia segment sponsored by Virginia Grown, a program of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Baba Ganoush 

1 large eggplant
¼ cup tahini, plus more as needed
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
1 pinch ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
¼ cup brine-cured black olives, such as Kalamata
sliced fresh vegetables, such as cucumber, carrot and broccoli

In a charcoal grill, prepare a medium-hot fire. 

Preheat an oven to 375°.


Prick the eggplant with a fork in several places, and place it on the grill rack 4-5 inches from the fire. Grill, turning frequently, until the skin blackens and blisters and the flesh just begins to feel soft, 10-15 minutes.

Transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet, and bake until very soft, 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool slightly, and peel off and discard the skin. Place the eggplant flesh in a bowl.

Using a fork, mash the eggplant to a paste. Add the tahini, garlic, cup lemon juice and cumin, and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, then taste and add more tahini or lemon juice if needed.

Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and spread with the back of a spoon to form a shallow well. Drizzle the olive oil over the top, and sprinkle with the parsley Place the olives around the sides. Serve at room temperature with crisp fresh vegetables for dipping. 

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