Baba Ganoush

“This easy appetizer takes advantage of eggplants at their peak in August. The smoky grilled flavors and spicy garlic are balanced by the bright fruit and lush flavors of Redemption Zinfandel.

– Pennie Haase  Director of National Marketing and Northeast Regional Sales

Ingredients:

2 lbs Italian Eggplant (2 medium or 1 large)
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
2 Tbsp. Tahini
4 Tbsp. Wetzel Family Olive Oil
3 Tbsp. Italian parsley, finely chopped
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. black pepper, coarsely ground
Pita chips or grilled pita bread

Method of preparation:

Preheat grill to medium.  Prick eggplant 6 times, place on hot grill and turn occasionally until cooked tender and charred on all sides, about 40 minutes.  Remove from grill, wrap in foil and let rest 20 minutes.

Crush garlic and salt with a mortar and pestle. Add lemon juice, pepper, tahini and 3 Tbsp. olive oil and mix to fine paste.

Unwrap eggplant after cooling for 15-20 minutes, cut in half and scoop out the flesh, removing any skin.  Place in strainer, press lightly with back of spoon and let the liquid drain off.

Put the eggplant in a bowl and mash with fork, add the garlic/lemon/tahini paste and mix well.  Stir in 2 Tbsp. parsley. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and/or lemon juice if necessary. Top with remaining parsley and olive oil.

Serve warm or at room temperature surrounded by pita chips.  Enjoy with a bottle of Redemption Zinfandel!