Thursday, September 18, 2014

Recipe: Baba Ganoush with Roasted Garlic

Have you heard of hyper-local food? It's a trendy food movement where restaurants, supermarkets or other food businesses cultivate their own food on site. By definition, doesn't that mean a school garden could be considered hyper-local? We think so!

Tomorrow students from the 4th grade classrooms at the East Somerville Community School will be eating hyper-local eggplant and garlic grown just down the hall from their classrooms. Both items came from the East Somerville Community School's garden. You can see the garlic in the photos below. The eggplant had just been transplanted and are too small to see. The garlic was harvested in July and the eggplant was picked yesterday!

Garlic growing in the front right beds, June 2014.

Garlic plant with scape (the little curly q at the top of the plant), June 2014

The students will be tasting baba ganoush, made from eggplant and garlic, with green bell pepper and zucchini slices. For this recipe we used roasted garlic, which gives the baba ganoush a more mild flavor.

We chose this recipe for a few reasons. In addition to having an abundance of eggplant and garlic, we think baba ganoush makes a perfect veggie dip. It is similar in texture to hummus but more mild in flavor. Veggies with hummus or baba ganoush are a yummy snack for students and adults. We can't wait to hear what the students say about the baba ganoush. Below is the recipe we used. Stay tuned for the results from the taste test!

Baba ganoush with roasted garlic

2 small bulbs roasted garlic
3 medium eggplants
juice of half a lemon
1 cup tahini
salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. The garlic and eggplant can be roasted at the same time.

To roast the garlic:
Peel most of the paper of off the garlic, leaving the head intact with the cloves connected. Cut about 1/4 inch off the top of the head (image below). At this point, you can drizzle the head with a little olive oil but we chose to omit this step. Wrap the individual heads in aluminum foil and roast directly on the rack or muffin tin. Roast for 30 minutes or until garlic is soft. For more information about roasting garlic and its uses click here. To use the garlic simply squeeze the bottom (uncut side) and the garlic should slide out of its paper.

Image via the kitchn
To roast the eggplant:
Brush a light coating of olive oil over the surface of the eggplant. Roast on a baking sheet or roasting pan for 15-20 minutes until the skin is charred and the inside is very soft. Let cool. Cut the top off, slice the eggplant lengthwise, peel it and scoop out the seeds. Don't worry about getting every seed!

In the food processor, combine the eggplant, garlic, tahini, lemon juice and salt. Blend until smooth, only a few minutes. Add more salt to taste. Add water or olive oil if needed to make the mixture blend.

Enjoy on pita bread or veggie sticks!

Content provided by Karyn Novakowski, Somerville Farm to School Project Director

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