Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Baba Ghanoush
by SuSu & Runt Ekwesh

Hohass Ekwesh was the smallest member of his large family, and though he was not small by human standards, his nickname "Runt" nontheless stuck with him throughout his life. As the smallest of his clan, he often found that he stuck closer to his mother and grandmother than the others had. At their elbows, he learned many, many things about how to keep others fed and happy. And he learned that when blessed with a large crop of one type of food plant, one had to learn to feed it to others in non-repetitive, interesting ways, or there'd be rebellion within the family ranks!

Eggplants are a plant which take a long long time to fruit, but when it does, it seems to happen all at once. A kitchen gardener can go from having none to having more than anyone would care to eat in a matter of days! It's good cooked up as a meat substitute, perhaps served with a sauce. Or even as coated, fried sticks. But this recipe was the simplest and people hardly knew they were eating eggplants, which were roasted till very soft, then mixed into a dip, and served with pickled and fresh vegetables and crispy flatbread wedges or crackers!

Runt proudly presented this "glop" to his squadronmates when it was his turn for "KP," and they liked it so much that they protested when they were finally out of eggplant! It also makes a nice sandwich spread, and makes eating your vegetables a very easy, pleasurable thing.

  • 1 hugely large eggplant or 6 small ones (you can use either the big purple skinned eggplants, or the light purple Japanese eggplants ... any eggplant type, really)
  • half a head of garlic (3 large cloves), unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste), additional as needed
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, additional as needed
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • salt, to taste
Heat the oven to 350°F / 165°C. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the eggplants and unpeeled garlin on the sheet and place in the oven for about 30 to 60 minutes, or until the eggplant looks shriveled and the skin blackens and burns. The flesh should be very very soft. Remove from the oven and let cool down enough to handle. Cut the eggplants in half and scrape the soft flesh into a bowl. Do the same to the garlic — you should be able to split the papery skin and pop the brownish, soft cloves our of their skins. Discard the skins.

NOTE: If there is any liquid from the roasting in the pan, this does have a charred smoky flavor, and you can add it to your baba ghanoush if you like that.

ANOTHER NOTE: You can grill the eggplant on your charcoal or gas grill to blacken the skin, then finish roasting in the oven to soften it.

You can mash the eggplant and garlic flesh with a potato masher or fork in the bowl, or you can place it onto a cutting board and chop it finely with a sharp knife. Or, if you prefer a very smooth texture, process in a food processer till its the texture you want.

Blend in the tahini, lemon juice, and cumin. Add salt to taste, and adjust the flavor of tahini and lemon juice to taste, too.

To serve, place the paste into a bowl and if desired, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and finely chopped parsley or cilantro, and garnish with Kalamata olives. Serve with toasted pita wedges. Serves 6.

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