Smoky Eggplant Baba Ganoush with Almond Dukkah and EVOO

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Serves: 6-8
Description: 

Created by Chef John McConnell, executive chef, Clif Family Winery, for Almond Board of California

Ingredients: 
Almond Dukkah
60g - Almonds, roasted and salted, chopped finely
25g - Almond meal
10g - Toasted sesame seeds
4g - Cumin seed powder
2g - Fennel seed powder
3g - Coriander seed powder
.5g - Dried mint
.25g - Ground cloves
.5g - Ground cinnamon
3g - Sea salt
.25g - Fennel pollen
Eggplant Baba Ganoush
3 each – globe eggplants, pierced on all sides, roasted and peeled
12oz - canned chickpeas, juice reserved
1 ½ tsp - garlic
¼ cup + 1 TBSP - tahini
2 TBSP - red wine vinegar
1 TBSP - lemon juice
10 dashes - hot sauce
2 TBSP - cumin seed powder
1 tsp - cayenne pepper
2 TBSP – kosher salt
1 TBSP - almond oil
For garnish
great quality extra virgin olive oil
almond dukkah
sumac
aleppo pepper
mint leaves
Preparation: 

Wash the eggplant and pierce several times with a knife.  Grill the eggplant directly over the burners on your stove over medium heat.  Turn the eggplant frequently but apply a good amount of char to all sides.  The eggplant will be soft all the way through when it is done (15-20 minutes).  Transfer to a mixing bowl and cover with plastic film to allow the eggplants to steam for easier peeling.  After the eggplants are cool enough to handle, peel the charred skin off of the eggplants and capture the flesh.  In a food processor, add all of the collected eggplant flesh, chickpeas, tahini, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, hot sauce, cayenne, cumin and salt.  Puree the mixture as finely as possible.  While the motor is running, add the almond oil to emulsify and thin the consistency by adding the chickpea canning liquid.  Adjust by checking the seasoning with salt or lemon juice.

To serve, spread the baba ganoush in the base of a shallow bowl or serving platter.  Use the back of a spoon to create indentions or craters.  Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the baba ganoush so as to let the oil pool in the craters.  Top with generous amounts of the almond dukkah and then with the aleppo pepper and sumac.  Lastly, garnish with the mint leaves and serve alongside a toasted and sliced loaf of artisan bread.  Or as an alternative, pappadums or pita.

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Smoky Eggplant Baba Ganoush with Almond Dukkah and EVOO

Wash the eggplant and pierce several times with a knife.  Grill the eggplant directly over the burners on your stove over medium heat.  Turn the eggplant frequently but apply a good amount of char to all sides.  The eggplant will be soft all the way through when it is done (15-20 minutes).  Transfer to a mixing bowl and cover with plastic film to allow the eggplants to steam for easier peeling.  After the eggplants are cool enough to handle, peel the charred skin off of the eggplants and capture the flesh.  In a food processor, add all of the collected eggplant flesh, chickpeas, tahini, garlic, vinegar, lemon juice, hot sauce, cayenne, cumin and salt.  Puree the mixture as finely as possible.  While the motor is running, add the almond oil to emulsify and thin the consistency by adding the chickpea canning liquid.  Adjust by checking the seasoning with salt or lemon juice.

To serve, spread the baba ganoush in the base of a shallow bowl or serving platter.  Use the back of a spoon to create indentions or craters.  Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the baba ganoush so as to let the oil pool in the craters.  Top with generous amounts of the almond dukkah and then with the aleppo pepper and sumac.  Lastly, garnish with the mint leaves and serve alongside a toasted and sliced loaf of artisan bread.  Or as an alternative, pappadums or pita.