Summer Preview: Baba Ghanoush, A Classic Dip Updated With Cumin And Smoked Paprika

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I’m of the opinion that a well-flavored dip along with crudité, crackers, cheese, olives and other nibbles constitute an easy-to-do, but elegant appetizer. And baba ghanoush, a combination of smoky eggplant purée and tahini, is one of my favorites. Some form of seasoned eggplant purée is made throughout the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East regions, and a variant can be found as far east as India. Eggplant, inedibly bitter when raw, is transformed by deep roasting or grilling into something mild and almost sweet. Because people seem to make it at home only rarely, it feels a bit special and is nearly always warmly received. Usually I wait until eggplants are in season in mid summer to make baba ghanoush, but I was asked to make it for a wedding reception I catered this week, so I thought  I’d share this recipe while it’s fresh in my mind. File it away until the day when eggplants appear at your farmer’s market… Continue reading

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