Let’s face it, eggplant kind of sucks. Out of all the vegetables, it is probably my least favorite. It takes a lot of other flavors to make it taste good. And sure, eggplant rollatini is AMAZING, but that is because it is smothered in sauce and cheese and all kinds of unhealthy goodness. And eggplant rollatini is also kind of a pain to make. I also don’t really like eggplant texture in general – I have a hard time eating any recipes where the eggplant is thicker than in eggplant rollatini.
Just my luck, we’ve been getting a lot of eggplant in our CSA this year. After trying to improvise all kinds of healthier recipes with it, I decided to give up and go back to this classic – baba ganoush. This is probably the only eggplant recipe that is healthy, easy to make, tastes good, and has a nice texture. Or rather, it does not have a noticeable eggplant texture because it has the texture of a dip, and that is good enough for me. The garlic and the lemon juice really make this dip delicious, and the olive oil makes everything nice and smooth. I did throw in some walnuts into this baba ganoush for a nice crunch, and that is my favorite part.
My dinner last night actually consisted of wasa crackers and a decent size bowl of this walnut baba ganoush, and I was satisfied. Aldo dipped a few vegetables into the baba ganoush, said it was good, and reheated some pizza. I don’t blame him – he doesn’t have weird eating habits like me, whereas I think a bowl of baba ganoush sounds like a normal meal.
For this recipe, I used a new garlic press that I got from Dual Chef. My old one just stopped pressing a few weeks ago, and last week Dual Chef offered me this garlic press and garlic peeler set in exchange for a review on my blog – perfect timing!
The garlic press works REALLY well – I love how easily it presses garlic without having to squeeze with all my might like I did with my old garlic press. The one thing it lacks is the feature where it would bend backwards and press out the stuck garlic pulp from the holes. But I didn’t even need that feature actually – the pulp came out with just a light scrape, so that was a nice touch. And I’ve always been super curious about the tube peelers – is it even possible that these things work?? I *hate* peeling garlic! Yes, I know about the smashing-the-side-of-the-knife trick, but I have horrible knife luck in the kitchen and I am always terrified of cutting myself. So I finally got a chance to try out the tube peeler! And it worked really well! Dual Chef does point out that their garlic press even works with unpeeled garlic, so I tried that as well, and it works great. Just put the unpeeled garlic into the press, squeeze, and only the pulp comes out all minced while the peel stays inside. Awesome.
Update: While the garlic peel worked really well twice, the garlic-holding basket somehow got bent into an oval shape so that the plunger part of it no longer fit. It stopped working after 1 week. Unfortunately, I would not recommend this garlic press to anyone and I will have to get another one. 🙁
Going back to my recipe: I had 2 large eggplant from the CSA last week (a white one and a purple one). I made two batches of this walnut baba ganoush, and I used the garlic peeler and press to prepare the garlic for both of the batches.
Thanks Dual Chef for sending me the garlic press to test out!
Disclaimer: Dual Chef provided me with the garlic press and silicone tube peeler set at a steep discount to test out and write about. All opinions are my own.
Walnut Baba Ganoush
Makes: 1 medium bowl of dip. Total time: about 1.5 hours (10 minutes if you roast the eggplant in advance).
- 1 lb eggplant
- 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice, to taste
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1/2 cup crushed walnuts
- Cut the eggplant in half and roast it at 400F for 40 minutes, or until it is fully cooked and a fork can easily pierce it. Remove from oven and allow to cool until it can be handled.
- Peel the skin off the eggplant. It doesn’t have to be 100% peeled, but the less peel the smoother the baba ganoush will be. Chop the cooked peeled eggplant into rough ~2 inch pieces.
- Add the chopped eggplant, minced garlic clove, olive oil, lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a food processor and process until smooth, pulsing it a few seconds at a time. Give it a taste and see if you want to add more lemon juice or salt.
- In a medium bowl, combine the baba ganoush with the crushed walnuts and stir. Serve in a bowl and use it as a dip for vegetables, crackers, or as a spread on crusty bread.