By Christine, Mid-life Croissant Food Blog
Dip. Omnipresent, irresistible and, often, problematic. If you’re trying to eat healthy, that is.
Forget store-bought. But even most homemade dips are loaded with cheese or sour cream. Or both. Delicious, yes. But not great for your heart. Or your thighs.
Baba ganoush to the rescue! This paleo alternative to hummus is also vegan and gluten-free, so everyone at your dinner party is free to enjoy. It even satisfies omnivores like me.
It’s not exactly low in calories but is very nutritious and compliant with so many common dietary restrictions that anyone can eat it.
Having a ‘free-for-all’ recipe up your sleeve can definitely take some of the angst out of entertaining. Even if my guests don’t eat anything else, I know they won’t starve.
Phew. I just can’t be responsible for people starving.
This recipe does require the use of your broiler for about 10 minutes, unless you char the eggplant on your stovetop — a technique I have not yet mastered. And it’s possible I never will, because I’m a total wimp around open flames.
Or maybe I just don’t have the right equipment, like…I don’t know…insanely long tongs?
In any case, with the recent drop in temperature I had no problem using the broiler. And the smoky flavor it imparts is worth every drop of sweat.
One of my favorite things about serving any kind of dip is coming up with unique “dip delivery devices.” (I think I’ve been listening to The Sporkful too much.)
You can put out crackers, bread or pita, but what about your gluten-free guests?
With the abundance of fresh produce lining the stalls at our farmer’s markets, you can really let your imagination run wild. Here you see cucumber, figs and plantain chips — I haven’t tried anything that didn’t work.
So go for the ‘wow!’
I mean, that’s the whole reason for feeding people you didn’t marry or give birth to.
Smoky Baba Ghanoush, Recipe by: Marc Matsumoto, pbs.com
This recipe is simple, uses few ingredients, and provides a complex array of flavors. Serve with toasted pita bread, top off a salad, or use it as a sandwich spread with sun dried tomatoes.
- *8 small Japanese eggplants
- ½ cup tahini
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- *2-3 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 tsp salt
* Ingredients available seasonally at your neighborhood Greenmarket
- Either on the top shelf of your broiler, or directly on your gas stove, char the eggplant, turning to insure every bit of skin is charred. Don’t worry; you’re going to peel off the charred skin, so you really want to get the skin black and flakey as this is where the smoky aroma will come from.
- Set the charred eggplant aside until it cools enough to handle. Flake most of the black skin off (it’s okay if there’s a little left), then shred the eggplant by pulling it apart with your fingers and place it in a mesh strainer for 30 minutes to drain the extra liquid.
- Mince the eggplant, and then combine it in a bowl with the tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Stir well to combine and adjust seasonings to taste. Garnish with more olive oil and chopped parsley or sumac. Serve with crackers or chips.
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