One of our favorite things to order from Falafel Shack in Chambersburg, Pa. is the falafel (of course!) with baba ganoush. While we’re fans of traditional hummus, there’s something so enticing about the silky eggplant spread; its smoky richness is the perfect compliment to other Middle Eastern flavors, like lemon juice, fresh vegetable salad, sumac and herbs. The key to achieving this flavor, as we learned from Falafel Shack’s owner, Amer Chaudhry, during his visit to the Pennsylvania Kitchen, is to get a good char on your eggplant before making the baba ganoush.
Look for plump, purple Pennsylvania eggplant at your local grocery store or farmers market — the freshest-picked eggplants grown close to home will yield far superior results to ones that have been shipped halfway around the world. Fire up the grill, or blast them under your oven’s broiler, until the skin is singed and the flesh is almost liquefied. It’s this step that helps sidestep the pulpy, rubbery texture that eggplant sometimes has, and allows for it to blend beautifully with lemon juice, tahini (try the glorious stuff from Soom Foods), garlic and spices.
Watch the video for the technique, then check out Amer’s recipe to try making Falafel Shack’s baba ganoush at home!
- Video and photo: Dish Works