Baba Ghanoush: An Appetizing Appetizer

Baba Ghanoush: An Appetizing Appetizer

The culinary world is as diverse and unique as the nations where the dishes originate from. It carries the traditions and flavors from various places and puts it conveniently on a plate. Delicacies from the Middle East, such as  tahini, tabouli, and hummus, are some of the most interesting ones. Today, we’ll talk about yet another Levantine dish – baba ghanoush, an appetizing appetizer.

What is Baba Ghanoush?

Baba ghanoush, also known as baba ghanouj or baba ganoush, is taking both fine dining and home settings by storm. It is widely recognized as a dish mainly made of mashed, cooked eggplant combined with several seasonings, tahini, and olive oil.

Baba ghanoush is a delicacy that has a distinct smoky taste. The ideal serving of this dish is as a cold or room temperature spread and it goes incredibly well with pita bread. Although, some enjoy it on it’s own, and that’s absolutely fine!

How to Prepare Baba Ghanoush at Home

You don’t have to go to a restaurant or visit the grocery in order to enjoy a piece of heaven that is baba ghanoush. You just need a few ingredients and you can easily whip up this Levantine dish at home! This includes the following:

– One large eggplant

– Garlic cloves

– Pinch ground cumin

– Olive oil

– Brine-cured black olives

– Tahini

– Fresh lemon juice

– Flat-leaf parsley

– Salt to taste

Baba Ghanoush and Veggies - For the Love of HummusAs far as cooking necessities, begin preparing a charcoal grill and an oven. The first step is to grill the eggplant until the outer skin turns black and you see a soft flesh, which is usually done within 10 to 15 minutes. After which, bake it in the oven for around 15-20 minutes until very soft.

Once that’s done, allow the eggplant to cool a bit and then peel the skin. Mash the eggplant in a bowl and then mix the other ingredients together, with variations in salt, lemon juice, and tahini according to your taste. Drizzle olive oil, sprinkle some parsley, put some olives on the sides for presentation, and voila! Enjoy!

The Battle Between Baba Ghanoush and Hummus

As far as nutritional value is concerned, baba ghanoush and hummus are often compared with each other. So which one is better? It really depends on what you need.

When talking about similarities, both hummus and baba ghanoush have no cholesterol content. As a matter of fact, they both contain unsaturated fats, which are instrumental to cardiovascular health through low cholesterol levels and decreased inflammation.

When talking about differences, baba ghanoush has more potassium content, which is essential to regular heartbeat and optimal nerve and muscle function. On the other hand, hummus has more B-vitamin content for energy and lesser risks of cardiovascular problems. Either way, both are good for you.

So, ready to whip up a healthy dish of baba ghanoush? You know you want to try it!

Baba Ghanoush - An Appetizing Appetizer - For the Love of Hummus

Tahini: Everything You Need to Know

Tahini: Everything You Need to Know

We all know the famous hummus dip, with it’s different versions all over the world. But did you know that it has one ingredient that is famous in it’s own right? Everybody’s favorite, tahini to be specific! Let’s talk about tahini and everything you need to know about it.

What’s Tahini?

Tahini, also known for various names like Tahina and Ardeh, is a toasted ground hulled sesame seed-based condiment. It is famously used in a lot of well known Eastern Mediterranean cuisines, but has also gained popularity in China and other Southeast Asian nations.

Basically, the tahini can be used as a standalone dip, which is a must-have in most Mediterranean dishes. Although it is also a major ingredient of hummus, halva, and baba ghanoush. Those are already famous appetizers, so take that popularity and the tahini can make a name of its own.

Everything You Need to Know About Tahini

Now that we know a bit of what tahini is, let’s delve deeper into this delectable dip/spread/ingredient and discover things you might not have known previously about it.

Bowl of Tahini with Matzos - For the Love of HummusIt’s Versatility is Endless

We already know that you can use tahini as a dip or even as a component to the widely-known hummus. But more than than, there are various ways you can enjoy this yummy substance. It can be used as a base for sauces due to its creamy texture, try it as a salad dressing, transform the way you enjoy pasta, and even create a tahini-based ice cream! Your imagination is the only limit to the way you can use it.

Tahini is a Healthy Addition to Any Dish

One compelling reason why people choose to experiment with tahini is not only because of its delicious taste, but also the health benefits it can bring. It is known to pack more protein that most nuts and milk. It even has various vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins for brain function and energy, vitamin E for lesser risks of stroke and heart disease, plus calcium, iron, and magnesium. That’s a lot of great things from a humble condiment!

Creating Homemade Tahini is Easy as Pie

If you thought a dish this beneficial can only be bought in stores, you’re wrong. You can make your own tahini at home with white hulled sesame seeds, grapeseed or olive oil, an oven, and a food processor! And the best thing is that it takes only 20 minutes to create your own version, with prep time and cooking time combined. Easy and cost-effective!

It is Going to Have its Own Film

If you still don’t believe the impact of tahini in your life, then perhaps a documentary will? A “Tahini the Movie” is in the works, which pays homage to this healthy dish. Coincidentally, the same team that made “Hummus the Movie” is working on it. What are the odds?

We could go on and on, but let’s leave it at this bite-sized information for now. Interested to try it out?

Tahini - Everything You Need to Know - For the Love of Hummus

Sesame Tahini Recipe

Sesame Tahini Recipe

Sesame Tahini Recipe – For the Love of Hummus

Making your own tahini paste at home is a good way to be sure of all the ingredients in there. Not only that, but you can use tahini paste for so many other things besides putting into your hummus recipes. Made from roasted sesame seeds, this dip or spread can be used as a peanut butter substitute.

home made tahini pasteMany people cannot tolerate peanut butter due to allergies, so tahini is a good alternative. Also the taste of tahini is not as strong as peanut butter so it’s a good alternative for people who simply don’t like the taste of peanut butter. Use it on sandwiches and in wraps to give some extra flavor and it’s much healthier than salad creams and many other condiments. Add to that the fact that you have made it yourself at home, and you can be sure you are getting all the good nutrients out of your home made tahini.

Tahini can be used as a dip by itself, and is amazing with fruit such as apples and pears. Try it and see what I mean! Yum!

Why Tahini?

Tahini is a complex and nutty flavor that lends itself to many recipes and uses in the kitchen. You can spread it on toast or focaccia bread and you will be in love with the flavors that hit your tongue.

You can use tahini as a salad dressing to give your salads an unusual, nutty flavor. You can spread it on your steak for a lovely flavor combination.

Add it to your stir fry or satay sauce for a boost of flavor without the calories. Tahini can also be used as an ingredient in cookies if you crave that baked nutty flavor.
Follow the recipe below to make some awesome tahini that you can use for so many things. Keep it in an air tight container  for a few days. Be sure to make some extra to spread on your morning toast.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil. Extra virgin is ideal, but really whatever you have on hand.

Method

  • Place the sesame seeds on a piece of greaseproof paper on a flat baking dish. Spread out as thin as possible so that they roast evenly.
  • Place into an oven that has been preheated to 180(0)
  • Roast for 5 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
  • Bring tray out of the oven and redistribute the sesame seeds on the tray so that they will roast in the most even way.
  • Put tray back into the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Watch them like a hawk because once they start burning they are ruined.
  • Once they are ready, remove from the baking tray onto another flat surface for cooling for a couple of minutes.
  • Transfer the sesame seeds to a food processor and process for one minute.
  • Slowly add olive oil.
  • Continue processing for another 3 minutes. You will notice a smooth paste forming. If you would like it to be runnier then add more olive oil.
  • Add salt and pepper if you desire, but you should not need any.
  • Store your tahini in an air tight container for up to 4 days.

sesame tahini recipe