Keyword: aubergine, baba ganoush, baba ghanouj, eggplant, lebanese, mezze, pomegranate, pomegranate molasses, roasted eggplant, syrian, vegan, walnuts
Author: The Elegant Economist
2largeeggplants / aubergines
¼cupolive oil, plus more for servingplus 2-3 tsp for coating aubergine
2-4tspsalt, for 'sweating' the eggplant
2-3dropsliquid smoke (if needed)
juice of half a lemon
2mediumtomatoes, finely diced
2clovesgarlic, finely chopped(or 2 tsp toum)
¼tspfine sea salt
parsley and pomegranate arils, to serve
Sweat the Aubergine / Eggplant:
Cut each aubergine lengthwise, and salt the cut side liberally. Let rest for thirty minutes, then rinse off salt and any juices that have leaked out.
Cook the Aubergine / Eggplant:
Preheat your oven to 400°F/200°C. Place aubergine on a foil-lined baking sheet cut side up. Season with a drizzle of olive oil, and salt. Bake for 30 minutes.
Turn on your broiler and turn over the aubergines, skin side up. Place close to the broiler and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes until skins are charred. Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes or so. Check smokiness - and if it needs extra, add a few drops of liquid smoke to taste.
Toast the Walnuts:
In a dry pan, over medium heat toast the walnuts until lightly brown and fragrant. Remove, cool, and finely chop. Reserve a half Tbsp or so for garnish.
Make the Baba Ghanouj:
Chop your aubergine to the desired chunkiness. Chop your tomatoes and add to the bowl. Add your walnuts, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, olive oil, smoked paprika, Aleppo pepper, garlic (or toum), salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly and taste - adjust seasonings as desired.
Place on a plate and form a slight 'well' in the center. Pour in a little olive oil and garnish with parsley, pomegranate arils, and reserved walnuts. If desired, sprinkle with a little dried harissa or Aleppo pepper for spice.