Ah, the beautiful aubergine! It is such a pretty veggie. My sister had her hair colored aubergine once. The word slips off the tongue so easily. There is no
doubt that eggplant is a totally kitschy, yet traditional vegetable. I planted a couple of eggplant starts a few years back and they grew the cutest little eggplant. However, I do not like the taste! I know, you can bake them with cheese
and sauce, or bread and fry or bake them...I still don't care. For some reason, the taste just turns my stomach. I will eat other white, soft, watery vegetables such as zucchini, and even okra, but no thanks to the eggplant.
We have an awesome market down the street that features produce, at a great price, like I've never seen before. The Persian cucumbers, every fresh herb you would ever want, berries, fruits, bulk greens galore,
and the eggplants, are all just begging to be purchased; and purchase them my husband did! Since I needed to cook these buggers and I didn't want to slather them with sauce or cheese, I turned to my mom's 2006 Weight Watchers Cookbook. I
really like to roast vegetables, so roasting these eggplant sounded like the way to go for me.
I won't keep you in suspense - I tasted the roasted eggplant
before I made the Baba Ghanouj - and yuck! Still didn't like it!! But, I have to say, that after I mixed it with the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and spices, I actually was able to eat it. It had a nice, fresh taste and the consistancy
was a bit chunky because I mashed it instead of processing it.
This dish is traditionally made in several different ways in the Middle East and India. Some versions cut
the eggplant, others mash it. In some places tomatoes and onions and various other veggies are added. The Weight Watchers version is very basic and does not have other veggies - presumably to keep the points down. One serving is worth 2 points
( a cup of dip and 1 small pita).
Recipe from 2006 Weight
1 medium (1 pound) eggplant
4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove - diced
1 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon salt (I used smoky salt)
Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray. With a knife, pierce the eggplant several times and place on the baking sheet. Roast,
turning once or twice, until soft and the skin is charred, about 45 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle and peel off skin (I left the skin on).
medium bowl, mash the eggplant. Stir in the lemon juice, oil, garlic, paprika, coriander, and salt. Serve with pita or crudite'.
*** A note about pita bread.
When I'm trying to watch my carbs, I don't buy things like pita. I learned a little trick - use baked eggroll wrappers as an alternative to bread. See
below for details.