Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Kale & Artichoke Baba Ganoush Dip With Roasted Garlic



This all started with a recipe I saw for a vegan version of a spinach-artichoke dip. This particular one called for avocado instead of the cheese mixture. I made it and it was tasty, everyone loved it, but it is a cold dip, it was more like a different kind of guacamole. I'd definitely make it again. Anyway, the seed was planted to come up with something else that would be good warm and bubbly like the traditional spinach-artichoke dip.

Not long after that I ate at a Mediterranean restaurant and ordered some baba ganoush. As I was nibbling on it, it hit me... what could be more perfect than baba ganoush as a base for a warm, bubbly, vegan version of spinach-artichoke dip!? For those of you unfamiliar with baba ganoush, it is a dip like hummus but instead of chick peas as the base, they use roasted eggplant. It is creamy and gooey, great cold or warm. So, the idea was born and I couldn't wait to create it! For this version I switched the spinach for kale since that is what I had on hand, but either spinach or kale would be delicious!

Kale & Artichoke, Baba Ganoush Dip:
1 large roasted egg plant
4 steamed artichoke hearts
1/2 bunch of steamed kale (more if desired)
1 head of roasted garlic
3-4 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon- juice only
Himalayan salt to taste
fresh ground pepper to taste
capers, a sprinkle of fresh ground pepper and drizzle of olive oil for garnish if desired

Directions:
This takes a little time to prepare, but overall is a very easy. Start by roasting the eggplant whole for 45 min to an hour. No need to wrap it or anything. I like to use my toaster oven to roast them, it's nice to not have to heat up the entire big oven for one eggplant. When done, the skin should look wrinkly and peel off easily. Also put the entire head of garlic, peel and all in to roast at the same time as the eggplant. After getting these started, prepare the artichokes for steaming and de-stem the kale for steaming. It will take about 30-40 minutes for the artichokes, 20 mins for the kale. After everything is done cooking, you may want to allow it to cool for a few minutes to make it easier to handle.

Once the veggies have cooled a bit, add the eggplant and peeled garlic to your high speed blender. The roasted eggplant should have a kind of slimy texture. Blend for 2-3 minutes until it is really creamy. Add in the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and blend for another minute or two or until everything is mixed well. Add in the kale and blend a little bit to leave it slightly chunky. Add in the artichokes hearts last and pulse a couple times to blend it and chop it just a bit.

You can then put this in a glass baking dish and warm it in the oven until it is slightly bubbly before serving. Enjoy this with blue corn tortillas, gluten-free crackers or veggies! Serves 8-10. Great for a party or get together!