Desperate times call for desperate measures.
And I’m not letting the fact that I lack an oven stop me from satisfying my mashed eggplant cravings.
It’s a normal Thursday night chez Jessica. And the only viable option for dinner was a sad leftover eggplant from a thai curry some nights ago. True, she’s seen better days. Her purple skin is not as smooth and taught as that of its sexy younger peers at the supermarket. Her body had lost some of its vitality and plumpness, but she still has some miles left. And I was determined to turn this mediocre eggplant into a masterpiece so delicious, that one would have thought I picked her right off the vine.
I didn’t her to fall into the same fate as most sad vegetables. I didn’t want to turn her into some sad side dish only to be overshadowed by a fresher, more magnificent main. No. She was going to be the star of the show. But I needed to play to her strengths as she was definitely not a looker. So I thought I’d highlight her delicious natural texture with an exotic spiced up Baba Ganoush.
But there was one glaring problem.
I have no oven.
So I thought through the alternatives – sauteeing, steaming, broiling – but none of them sounded remotely appetizing. It wasn’t until I accidentally kicked my neglected microwave that I found a solution. I was going to roast her… in the microwave.
If there’s anyone who thinks a microwave is the most savage, vulgar way to destroy any taste in food, its me. I hate the microwave. And I hate everything you can possibly prepare in it, from frozen soups to powdered hot cocoa. I don’t even heat things up in the microwave, I always use the stove.
But, the time for being a purist has passed, and I needed to embrace the nuking machine that I have been graced with. After careful puncturing of her skin with a fork, I placed my beloved eggplant into the machine of death. I turned the heat to high and crossed my fingers that all would go as planned.
After 15 minutes, she came out looking like this:
Have you ever seen a more beautifully deflated aubergine?! I was ecstatic with my results, and gently proceeded to extract her mushy goodness. Add some tahini paste, a sprinkle of cumin, dash of salt, spritz of lemon juice, a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, minced garlic and some extra virgin – and she was a baba ganoush fit for a pharaoh.
I topped a heaping portion onto a slice of really amazing chia seed bread (from the Føtex bakery, for all you Danes) and dinner is served! It was the perfect marriage of juicyness and spice, and I could not have been more content.
Microwave Baba GanoushMakes 1 serving
1.5 teaspoons of Tahini paste
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
1. Poke 5 to 6 holes into your eggplant with a fork, this will prevent it from exploding in the microwave.
2. Microwave eggplant on high for about 15 minutes, or until its pretty deflated – the more wrinkly it is on the outside, the more mushy and delicious it’ll be on the inside.
3. Scrape and pulp your eggplant, place into a bowl and discard the skin and the top.
4. Add lemon juice, olive oil, cayenne pepper, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Mash with a fork until the mixture becomes a spreadable consistency.
5. Place on top of some good fresh bread – and Bon Appetit!