Learning to love vegetables…

I think i’ve shared this before but one of my hopes for this year is to eat more healthy. My diet’s not terrible but it’s not great either.  I just know I can do better and one of the ways I’ve decided to improve is by eating more vegetables.   In my quest to do that, I’ve decided to try at least one new vegetable recipe a week hoping to learn to love vegetables while doing something I already love…taking pictures.

The first recipe I decided to try is Baba Ghanoush.   I decided on this recipe since i love dips (one of my favorites being hummus) and this recipe only called for 5 ingredients! I just love easy recipes! The star of this recipe is the eggplant.  Did you know…

::  Eggplant is a fruit;  actually, it’s botanically classified as a berry.
::  It’s native to India and
::  85% of all eggplants are produced in 5 countries (China, India, Turkey, Indonesia and Iraq)

So eggplant isn’t really a vegetable? Well, it’s botanically a fruit but culinary wise, it’s considered a vegetable since it isn’t sweet.  Anyway, I’m glad I can consider it a vegetable considering my title post. lol! Well, enough culinary knowledge…time to share some photos with you! =)

So I got all of my 5 ingredients together…

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turned my oven to broil and broiled the eggplant while turning it every 5 minutes for a total of 20 minutes.

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I let it cool for just a few minutes then peeled the skin back.  This was so easy to do since broiling made the flesh of the eggplant pull away from the skin.  I then just basically scooped the inside of the eggplant onto my cutting board.

blog_roastedeggplant

I decided to chop the eggplant as well as the other ingredients rather than put everything into the food processor. Of course, the food processor would have made everything super quick.  Chopping is just the more traditional version.

blog_choppedeggplant

I then combined all the ingredients into a bowl.

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And voila!…

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It was all done and ready for me to eat!

Honestly, this was so easy to make.  I really loved the overall flavors but thought I could have used less garlic.    The next time, rather than 2 cloves I’ll probably be using only 1. Of course, I should have known, the first clove I chopped looked larger than normal and could have really counted for two.  Anyway, lesson relearned… You can always add more of something but you can’t take anything away.

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If you’d like to try this recipe here it is…

Baba Ghanoush (from 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes Cookbook by Carol Gelles)

1 medium eggplant (1 pound)

1/4 cup lightly packed fresh parsley leaves

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (basically 1 lemon)

3 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)

1-2 cloves of garlic, minced*

*The actual recipe calls for 2 cloves but I modified this so you can add accordingly.

1.  Place whole eggplant on a grill or under a broiler. Cook, turning about every 5 minutes, until charred all over (about 20 minutes).

2. Cut the eggplant in half, scoop out the flesh, and discard the skin. Let cool.

3. Place the eggplant, parsley, lemon juice, tahini, and garlic in a food processor container fitted with a steel blade. Process until the parsley is finely chopped. Let stand at least one hour for the flavors to meld.

*****

With my first attempt being a bit more garlicky than  I’d like as a dip, I’m thinking it would be perfect in a Greek style hamburger. Hmmm…a burger with lettuce, tomatoes, few slices of thin red onions, this baba ghanoush spread on the bottom (or top) layer of the bun, and some feta? I’ll have to eventually try my crazy idea sometime. But that will have to be for another future post! =)

I hope you enjoyed this post! I’m really excited to share more of my journey into the world of vegetables through photos and recipes with you!

Until next time…

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