BABA GHANOUSH WITH FRIED WALNUTS & POMEGRANATE SEEDS


Reprinted from Tables & Spreads by Shelly Westerhausen Worcel with permission by Chronicle Books, 2021
This dip is a real showstopper with the walnut topping and pomegranate seeds! If pomegranate seeds aren’t in season, you could top with raisins instead.

Serves 4 to 6

For the baba ghanoush
1 large eggplant
3 Tbsp tahini
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp parsley
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cumin
2 Tbsp McEvoy Ranch Traditional Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For the topping
2 Tbsp McEvoy Ranch Traditional Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup [30 g] chopped walnuts
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup [50 g] pomegranate seeds, for garnish
1 Tbsp torn parsley leaves, for garnish 

Pita chips or pita slices, for serving

Preheat the oven to 450°F [230°C] and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

To make the baba ganoush, poke the eggplant all over with a fork to speed up the cooking process and put it on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until the eggplant is easily pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Once cool enough to handle, slice the eggplant in half and scrape out the insides into a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, salt, and cumin. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil and process for another 30 seconds or until light and fluffy. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl.

To make the topping, in a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the walnuts and, tossing often, cook for 2 minutes or until they start to turn dark brown. Remove from the heat and sprinkle in the salt. Spoon the walnuts over the dip and pour any remaining olive oil from the saucepan over the top. Garnish with the pomegranate seeds and parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.

This can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator—let it come to room temperature when serving and wait to top with the fried walnuts and pomegranate seeds until right before serving. Serve with pita chips.

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