The weather has been absolutely beautiful of late. To celebrate this, along with me being able to spend my afternoons blissfully cooking in my kitchen, I decided to cook dinner for myself and my boys. And considering I still had a whole bowl of tzatziki leftover from dipping my beets earlier this week, I decided to go in the direction of the Mediterranean.
I marinated and grilled some chicken thighs and lamb burgers, grilled pita bread, made a marinated tomato and cucumber salad, grilled bell peppers and the classic Mediterranean staple, baba ghanoush with Plowbreak Farm’s amazingly fresh, deep purple eggplants.
Every element of the meal was exceptional but the baba ghanoush was truly what brought everything together. We were shmearing it on the pita, on the burgers, dipping the peppers in it, it was awesome!
There is nothing quite like preparing a big meal, collaborating on it (I prepared everything and Chris grilled it all for us), sharing it with great friends, clinking together glasses of great wine with well wishes and then digging into some soul satisfying food in the fresh air.
Grilled Eggplant Baba Ghanoush
- 2-3 Plowbreak Farm eggplants, split lengthwise
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 4-5 cloves confit garlic (you could use roasted garlic if thats easier or 2-3 cloves raw if you like more of a bite)
- juice of a lemon
- 1 tablespoon minced Plowbreak Farm oregano
- 1/2-3/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon each ground cumin and ground coriander
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
Heat your outdoor grill or indoor grill pan to medium heat. Brush the cut side of the eggplants with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill on each side, 4-5 minutes, until well marked and tender. Remove and allow to cool until you can handle them.
Scoop the flesh of the eggplants into a food processor along with the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, cumin and coriander and pulse to combine. Then, with the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until you’ve reached a smooth and thick consistency. Taste and season with salt.
Pour into a bowl and top with the toasted pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil.
For the chicken and lamb, I made a Mediterranean inspired marinade using crushed garlic, oregano, dill, lemon juice and olive oil. I soaked the chicken thighs in the marinade for about two hours and reserved about a half a cup of it to mix into two pounds of ground lamb.
We grilled some of Plowbreak’s awesome bell peppers, and I made a quick salad out of their beautiful heirloom tomatoes and sliced cucumbers that I marinated in some olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cumin and coriander. It was a beautiful night in the backyard!