My best babaganoush recipe always sends me to our first day in Israel. The majestic drive south of Jerusalem, a hike through Ein Gedi and up Masada.
While I have forgotten most of the details, the sensations awakened in me on that day remain. The clarity of the air, the fascinating smells and the taste of the most delicious babaganoush I ever tasted!
Near the end of the day by the shore of the Dead Sea, we ate a dinner of soft pita and fresh salads that included this salad: creamy chunks of flavorful eggplant, accented with the mellow bite of roasted garlic and salt. This rendition is as close as I can get without going to Israel to get the original--something I highly recommend you do.
2 large eggplants peeled & cut into 1/4" cubes
6 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Place eggplant and garlic in a large baking pan. Toss with oil and salt.
3. Bake, uncovered for 40-50 minutes or until eggplant is golden brown and the smaller pieces around the edges begin to blacken. Halfway through the baking process use a metal spatula to stir and turn the eggplant, scraping stuck pieces from the bottom of the pan.
4. Remove from oven. While eggplant is still warm, add mayonnaise. Stir gently until incorporated.
5. Chill thoroughly.
Makes: 2 cups, 16 servings~Can make ahead
Active time: 15 minutes~Cooking time: 50 minutes