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Summer Salads and Sides: Roasted Artichokes and Smoky Baba Ganoush
Artichokes and aubergine. Here in the PNW, both are August staples! Did you know that? Artichokes, aubergine and August. The aliteration doesn’t lie. Well, actually that’s probably not a good rule of thumb. Both of their prime seasons extend well into September, but that’s just not as convenient for my attempt at creative prose;)
Regardless, artichokes and eggplant are at their peak in the same month! Let me try that again. Two of my all-time favorite veg are at their peaks Right. Now!!! Run, don’t walk to your friendly farmers’ market and snag one of each because we are roasting up some artichokes and making the creamiest, smokiest baba ganoush!
Technically this dish would make the most sense served as an appetizer or possibly a side dish. Labor day recipe idea , anyone?? (Fine more Labor Day ideas here.) But I admit that with the hub’s new work schedule, it has been my go-to dinner more nights that I would like to admit this month.
This baba ganoush is best when assembled at least 1 day ahead. Those flavors meld and deepen with time making this dip even better after a day in the fridge!! I’m adding a plethora of smoky spices to make this baba ganoush really dance on my smoked paprika and sumac loving tongue!
Using a smaller artichoke cuts down on cooking time since they need to be boiled until tender prior to roasting. I boil them with broth, garlic, and other spices so that they are infused with extra flavor rather than being depleted of flavor by just boiling them in H2O.
If you love artichokes or baba ganoush or eggplants, this side dish, will make you forget about summer drawing to a close. Ok, maybe not. But hopefully, it makes you feel a bit better about the close of the summer months. Pulling out my rain jacket for the next 6 months of Seattle rain isn’t high on my to-do list, but eating all the fresh artichokes and aubergines I can get my hands on is!
In this case, those August artichokes and aubergines signal that the other is around the corner.
- 2 small globe artichokes or 1 large artichoke
- 1 c. vegetable broth
- 3-4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- ½ tsp. whole cumin seeds
- 2-3 fronds dill weed
- pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 medium eggplant
- olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
- 1 ½ tbsp. tahini
- ¼ c. lime or lemon juice (lemon is more traditional, but I think the lime plays off of the sumac nicely!)
- garlic cloves
- ground cumin
- chili powder
- smoked paprika
- sumac, plus more for sprinkling
- black pepper
- crushed red pepper flakes for sprinkling
- 1 tbsp. pine nuts
- chopped fresh parsley, plus more for sprinkling
NOTE: Do ahead! Make baba ganoush one day ahead for best results.
To make baba ganoush: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment and roast eggplant for 20 minutes, turning 1/3 of the way and roasting for another 20 minutes. Total roasting time should equal 1 hour. Remove eggplant from oven and allow to cool until eggplant is cool enough to handle but not completely cooled. Then remove the top and outer skin. Press tender roasted eggplant flesh into a fine mesh sieve to release all excess water that can be expelled by the pressure of your hands.
In a food processor, combine tahini, garlic, and lemon juice. Pulse to combine until smooth. Add eggplant, olive oil, cumin, salt, pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika, sumac, and parsley. Process until smooth. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as desired. Transfer to a serving bowl and chill overnight.
When ready to serve, make a very small well in the top of the baba ganoush and drizzle a little olive oil, sprinkle pine nuts, a pinch of red pepper flakes and a pinch of chopped parsley leaves. Sprinkle the top with a pinch or two of sumac. And serve with roasted eggplant and additional chopped veggies if desired.
To make roasted artichokes: Before we roast the artichokes, we need to boil them. In a large pot, add vegetable broth, 4 cups water, garlic, dill, salt, pepper, cumin seeds, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes . Bring to a boil. Once boiling add artichokes and add additional water to cover artichokes if necessary. Reduce water to a simmer and cook until artichoke can be easily pierced with a fork.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Remove artichokes from water and tip the artichoke upside down to drain any water hiding in the crevasses. Transfer boiled artichoke to rimmed baking sheet.
Roast 5 minutes on each side for a total of 4 sides (20 minutes in total).
Serve roasted artichoke immediately with smoky baba ganoush and additional chopped vegetables like carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, and tomatoes if desired.
Total time does not include chilling the baba ganoush.