One of my favorite Middle Eastern recipes that's super easy to make is Baba Ghanouj. To some degree it's Hummus' lesser known cousin where chick peas are substituted with roasted eggplant.

Here's what you need:

1 container Trader Joe's Tahini Sauce
1 large eggplant

There are a few ways to roast the eggplant. The most common method is to give it a few stabs with a fork and cover it in foil. Then just roast it in the oven at 425 degrees for about 1 hour or until the eggplant is completely soft. During summer BBQ season, roasting can take place on an outdoor grill for a smokier result.

Let the eggplant cool on a rack. Once cool, take it out of the foil and carefully peel the skin from the eggplant. For a smoother result, carefully remove the seed pods. Once fully cooked, removing the seed pods is a relatively simple process.

Transfer the eggplant into a mixing bowl and combine with tahini sauce, about half the container. Mix thoroughly and continue to add tahini sauce to taste. The beauty of the tahini sauce is it comes premixed with lemon juice, garlic and salt so there's no need to measure out the correct proportions.

That's all there is to it. If you're willing to take it to the next level then add some toasted pine nuts to the mix. Toasting the pine nuts works really well in a toaster oven or even with some olive oil in a pan.

Serve in a small bowl and garnish with lots of olive oil and finely chopped parsley. To be eaten with lots of pita bread, pita chips, or as a dip with vegetables!


By Rudy Dhabura