We got handfuls of cherry tomatoes this summer, but not a single regular sized one. Lots of squash and not one cucumber. Basil and oregano are still growing, but cilantro and parsley shriveled up. Bell and serrano peppers did well, and the swiss chard flourished even as the weather rose above 100! Nothing ever came of my cantelope, but I still have hope. And look at these beautiful eggplants that developed in late summer! With eggplant nitpickers all around me, I decided to whip up a baba ganoush... which was extremely well-received, even by several people who claimed they never met an eggplant they liked...
The secret behind this baba ganoush was a Lebanese yogurt called lebneh. I adapted this Food 52 recipe (which was adapted from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food). Mine went something like this:
2 eggplants (I used three smallish ones)
3 T good olive oil
1 cup lebneh (or Greek yogurt)
1/4 cup tahini
1 lemon, juiced
2-3 cloves garlic (because I love garlic)
2 T fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
2 T fresh mint, chopped (optional)
sea salt to taste
1. Prick eggplants with a fork. In a very hot oven (450 degrees) or under a broiler, roast the eggplants for 30 to 45 minutes, or until their skins are blackened and their insides are extremely soft. Let cool, then scoop the flesh into a colander. Press gently so that the juices drain away.
2. Place eggplant flesh into a food processor. Add the olive oil, lebneh, tahini and pulse. Add the lemon and garlic, and salt to taste. Mix in the parsley or mint, if using. Taste again. Serve with toasted pita points.