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Appetizers, Vegetarian

Japanese eggplant baba ghanouj

Japanese eggplant baba ghanouj
Eric Boyd / Los Angeles Times

Big, crisp flatbread fragrant with warm spices. A trio of fabulous dips -- fresh fava "hummus" garnished with a dollop of Lebanese yogurt and sprinkled with sumac; a rich, ripe-flavored cherry tomato confit; smoky-tasting baba ghanouj topped with spicy harissa. ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes | Serves 16
  • 5 (about 2 pounds) Japanese eggplants
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon harissa

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Split the eggplants in half lengthwise and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Step 2Bake about 45 minutes to 1 hour until very soft. Cool, then scrape the flesh and discard the skin. With a knife (a food processor breaks it down too much), finely chop the eggplant to a fine texture.

Step 3Stir in the salt, pepper and sesame oil. Cover and refrigerate until serving. Spoon into ramekins and top with harissa.

Note: From Tiara Cafe. Store-bought or homemade harissa can be used. See the "Lamb tartare" recipe which includes directions for making harissa.

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