Baba Ganoush
Eight servings
I like my Baba Ganoush super-smoky, and leave the eggplants on the stovetop for a good ten minutes, but for most people, that’s probably too much. Five or so minutes, until the skin gets a bit charred, is probably right for most “normal” folks. If you have smoked salt, you can use that to give it another hit of smoked flavor, too. Sometimes I add a pinch of ground cumin. If you do, please just add just a bit. Baba Ganoush shouldn’t taste predominantly of cumin, which can quickly overwhelm.
3 medium-sized eggplants
1/2 cup (130g) tahini (sesame paste)
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/8 teaspoon chile powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
a half bunch picked flat-leaf parsley or cilantro leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).
2. Prick each eggplant a few times, then char the outside of the eggplants by placing them directly on the flame of a gas burner and as the skin chars, turn them until the eggplants are uniformly-charred on the outside. (If you don’t have a gas stove, you can char them under the broiler. If not, skip to the next step.)
3. Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until they’re completely soft; you should be able to easily poke a paring knife into them and meet no resistance.
4. Remove from oven and let cool.
5. Split the eggplant and scrape out the pulp. Puree the pulp in a blender or food processor with the other ingredients until smooth.
6. Taste, and season with additional salt and lemon juice, if necessary. Serve drizzle with olive oil, perhaps some herbs and with crackers, sliced baguette, or toasted pita chips for dipping.

Storage: Baba Ganoush can be made and refrigerated for up to five days prior to serving.