I invented this baba to suit my tastes. My issues with traditional babaghanouj are:
1. If you halve the eggplants, roast, and scoop out their insides, you lose the yummy skin.
2. If you roast the eggplant in a boring old oven, there is not enough smokiness.
3. Not enough sweetness to counteract the acrid combination of eggplant and lemon.
I decided to roast the eggplant in cubes, to increase the surface area being roasted and to keep the skin, added a chipotle pepper for extra smokiness, and roasted onions for sweetness.1 eggplant, cubed 1/2 medium onion, sliced
3 tbp olive oil 1 small dried chipotle pepper, chopped
1/3 cup tahini 1 clove garlic, chopped
2 lemons, juiced sea salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Toss the eggplant, onion, 2 tbp olive oil and 1/2 tsp sea salt together on a baking sheet and roast until golden, about 20 minutes, pausing once or twice to toss. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the chipotle pepper and 1/2 cup boiling water. Cover and allow the pepper to rehydrate. Reserve the chipotle water to flavor a soup or sauce.
Combine the eggplant, onion, chipotle pepper, tahini, garlic, 1 tbp olive oil and half the lemon juice in a food processor. Season to taste and add more lemon juice if necessary. If you need more liquid, add a splash of the chipotle water.
Serve chilled. This is one of those foods that tastes better with time. It is a great party appetizer that can be prepared days in advance.