Thursday, September 27, 2012

Eggplant and Chickpea Dip with Mint

I was a little disappointed with a Baba-Gha Hummus dip I prepared for this blog back in May. Tonight I thought I'd play around with a slightly different version. This one is creamier, with more garlic, lemon juice, and the surprising addition of mint.

  • 1 whole garlic head
  • 1 (1-pound) eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds*
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) drained can chickpeas
1. Remove the white papery skin from the garlic head, but do not peel or separate the cloves. Wrap the garlic in aluminum foil and bake at 450 degrees for 45 minutes.

2. At the same time, cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and place, cut sides down, in a baking pan.  Add enough water to fill the pan to a depth of 1/4-inch (doing so helps add moisture, and will result in a creamier dip).  Bake in the oven with the garlic, but remove after 30 minutes.

3 Let both the eggplant and garlic cool for 10 minutes once out of the oven. Scrape the pulp from the eggplant skins and discard the skins.  Separate the garlic cloves and squeeze to extract the pulp; discard the skins.

4. Combine the eggplant and garlic pulp in a food processor with the sesame seeds, mint, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, ground red pepper, and chickpeas.  Process until smooth.

Serve with lightly toasted pita bread wedges.

*Just like nuts, you can quickly toast sesame seeds in a skillet over medium heat for about 3 to 4 minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned.

Nutrition Info:
10 servings (1/4 cup), Calories 84 

Tasting Notes:
Pretty much everything I was hoping it would be: creamy consistency, a nice balance of the chickpea and eggplant, bright lemon flavor, and quite the bite from the garlic. I love garlic, so loved this, but if you're not a huge fan, you might consider using only half the cloves from the head. The one missing element was the mint, which got lost under all the rest; I recommend doubling the amount called for - especially because it's in the recipe title.


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