Roasted Garlic & Zucchini Babaganouj
Babaganouj is a Middle Eastern spread made from roasted eggplant, typically served with or in the same manner as hummus. This babaganouj includes the deep savor of roasted onions and garlic and tender zucchini for a fantastic body of flavor. It sounds like a ton of garlic, but roasting mellows the flavor to a delicate, sweet essence. Try adding oregano as a variation with herb-infused flavor. Truly delicious with Sesame Poppy Seed Pita Crisps.
Yields: 1-1/2 pints
1 eggplants (about 1 pound )
2 medium zucchini
2 heads garlic
1 large onion
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus a little as needed
¼ cup sesame seeds, lightly toasted and ground
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds, lightly toasted
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (optional for variation)
Preheat the oven to 400°F
Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Rub the face with a little olive oil and a spinkle of salt and place face-down in an oiled glass casserole dish or roasting pan.
Cut the ends off of the zucchini and rub with a little olive oil
Rub the garlic heads to loosen and remove the papery outer skin. Cut off the pointed top of the garlic heads, leaving the cluster intact. Place in a separate casserole dish (big enough to accommodate the onion as well) and drizzle and rub each head with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
Cut the ends off the onion and peel. Cut in quarters and rub with 1 teaspoon of olive oil keeping the quarters intact. Place in the same dish with the garlic heads.
Place both dishes in the oven for about 45 minutes or until everybody is savory and soft through and through.
Remove and let cool for 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
Cut the zucchini into 1-inch pieces and place in a strainer over a bowl.
Use a large spoon to scoop the flesh of the eggplant out of the skin into the same strainer to let the excess juices drip for 15 to 20 minutes.
Lightly toast the sesame seeds and cumin seeds in a skillet over a low flame just until fragrant. Let cool for a few minutes. Place in the food processor and grind into a fine meal.
Peel the garlic and add to the food processor with onion, eggplant, 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt. Blend until smooth and season to taste with additional salt as desired.
Serve with crackers, crisps and crudit.
Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.