Monday, April 16, 2007

Baba ganoush, and "refried" lentil tostadas

I love a good baba ganoush--not as much as I love hummus, but hummus sometimes gets boring and I want a bit of a change, and baba fits the bill. I had never made baba ganoush, however, because I don't typically keep eggplants on hand, and I never think "Hmm, baba ganoush would be great" when I am planning a shopping trip. Today, though, I did happen to have an eggplant on hand, and I remembered that Susan V recently shared her baba ganoush recipe. You know what this leads up to.

I tweaked her recipe in a couple of ways: First, I was afraid of all that lemon juice, so I cut back to 2 tablespoons. Second, I tasted it and thought it needed a kick, so I added about 1/2 teaspoon cumin to the food processor instead of saving it to sprinkle on top. I garnished it with a dash of paprika instead, and enjoyed it with slices of carrot, Roma tomato, and portobello, and a little heap of sprouts. I very much enjoyed this light dinner, and I shall put it on my "will make again" list!

This I will also make again--it was simply delicious. I wanted a quick taco filling that was legume-based instead of soy-based, and I didn't have any cooked beans on hand. Nothing cooks up faster than red lentils, so I ran with this idea.

"Refried" Red Lentil Taco Filling

1/2 yellow onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup red lentils
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons chipotle paste
1 teaspoon crushed oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional--I may or may not use it next time)
1/4-1/2 cup water, as needed

Sauté the onion in a pan until beginning to caramelize. Add the garlic and cook for a couple minutes more. Deglaze the pan with the vegetable broth, then add the lentils and seasonings. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 30 minutes until lentils are done and the liquid is completely absorbed. Stir often to prevent sticking and add water, as needed, throughout the cooking process. It should be very thick like the consistency of refried beans. If you prefer, you can mash up the lentils a bit, but I didn't bother. This makes 2 large servings, or 3 more moderate servings.

I toasted up some whole wheat tortillas in the oven, just as Vivacious Vegan does (although check on them before 8 minutes--mine only took about 7). Then I assembled the tostadas beginning with a scoop of the lentils, then topping that with a generous squeeze of lime juice, a dollop of homemade guacamole, some shredded spinach and chopped tomato, a spoonful of salsa, and a sprinkle of cilantro. Taco salad goodness.

How I love the toasty tortillas! I may never eat a regular burrito again.

If you take a peek over at my sidebar, you will notice that I have gone back and tagged all the recipes that I have posted on this blog, labeling them by type. All the recipes I have labeled have been either created by me, or modified by me in some way (while, of course, giving credit where credit is due)--I have not tagged the recipes that I have reposted straight from another site. There are still more recipes hidden in my blog in "paragraph" form, which I have to hunt down and tag and re-write in "recipe" form. Time for this Eden kitchen to get a bit more organized! I hope this helps you--I know it will help me, at least.

All you bloggers residing up in the Northeast states--stay warm! Spring is a' coming!


Don't Get Mad Get Vegan! said...

i hear ya about the lemon juice in the baba. i didn't have the foresight you did and it was entirely too tangy for me when i tried it.

loooove the lentil taco filling idea. i've been craving something similar and didn't wanna use any soy either. i'll definitely be trying that one!

and also dig the new layout. very easy on the eyes and pretty, to boot! nice job!

Carrie™ said...

First off, let me say that I love your new look. Very nice! As usual, your dishes sound delicious and the photos are mouth-watering. The taco salad especially. Another excellent post!

Dori said...

The new blog look is great, the food you posted looks just as good. My usual favorite is hummous too, but baba is a nice change of pace. I did that ord wall wahile back.... that is pretty neat how i pulls out the important things of the blog.

aTxVegn said...

I'm pretty sure I'll be making refried lentils tonight because those sound great, Laura! I guess I shouldn't make lentils into Indian food ALL the time.

The blog looks really nice. I need to get together a recipe index as well (mostly for me!)

Courtney said...

Yum--those lentils sound great! I will be making them soon. The blog looks great; I like the new look!


scottishvegan said...

Your baba ganoush photo is beautiful. I also made Susan’s recipe recently…it was so good! I love the idea of the lentil taco filling…I will need to try it out soon!

laura jesser said...

DGMGV, lol... next time I may even reduce the lemon juice a little more--mine was still pretty tangy!

Carrie, thanks so much! I've been wanting to give this place a facelift for quite some time now...

Dori, I have always loved the word cloud--you're right, it is really neat and "artsy".

Diann, lol--as I was making the lentils I halfway wished I was making dhal. Maybe next time... And the recipe index is so helpful--I've already found recipes I forgot I had concocted!

Courtney, thanks! It's nice to meet you--glad you stopped in! I hope you like the lentils.

Scottish vegan, thanks for the photo compliment--I took advantage of the afternoon sun since I had the opportunity! I'm glad you liked Susan's recipe too--did you make it exactly as she did, or did you modify it some? I'm interested in trying out some variations on it!

Julie said...

MMM Everything looks fab!

And Baba...YUM! I have never made it myself either. Thanks for pointing out that recipe.

Jackie said...

Love the new blog look.

I must try the lentil recipe as I tend to only use red lentils in soup.

The baba ganoush looks really great. As you say it would make a nice change from hummus...I am beginning to look like a chick pea LOL

laura jesser said...

Julie, it's funny--I see so many recipes on other people's blogs, but I usually don't catch them either until someone else points them out.

Jackie, if I had to choose between looking like a chickpea or an eggplant, I would probably take the chickpea any day! :)

Urban Vegan said...

How gorgeous is that? Babaganoush is a classic and is one of my all time favorites.

laura jesser said...

Urban vegan, it is a classic. I can't believe I've never made it before. Thanks for your compliments! :)

Johanna3 said...

i like the new face of the blog!!

the food looks very good! yum.

maybepigscanfly said...


I love the new facelift you gave to the blog and the recipe index is very helpful. I myself am a baba virgin (unless you count the nasty rubbery concoction my school cafeteria labeled "baba" that I foolishly thought would be edible!). Did you add the extra tahini as Susan suggested for 1st time Baba eaters? I think you might have inspired my lunch today. I discovered the beauty of toasty tortilla shells last summer and they have become a staple ever since. The lentils look awesome!


Webly said...

Thanks for the kind words over on my blog.
I too love a good baba. The best one I ever had was a roasted baba ganoush that tasted just a little bit smoky. It was heavenly, but it's now been hard recreating it or expecting other restaurants to serve it.

Melody Polakow said...

I love that first pic of the baba... mmm.. I wish I had that now!

Lentils are the best ... I swear, if I could choose only one legume, it would be lentils.

stonielove said...

whoa, it's beautiful. i love baba ganoush. i adore your plating... i can almost smell it :)


laura jesser said...

Johanna, thanks! Your comments are always very sweet.

Teresa, good to see you! I didn't add any extra tahini--I don't like a very strong tahini flavor. LOL, and yes, I have also had the rubbery nasty baba that you're talking about! If you like eggplants, try this--and if you don't mind the tahini taste, go ahead and add a little extra (it would probably be good)!

Webly, I think a roasted, smoky-flavored baba sounds wonderful, though I can imagine it would be difficult to recreate. I might just try to come up with something like that, now that you've put the idea in my head! :)

Melody, my first pick on legumes would be black beans--but lentils right behind. They're so versatile and easy and, well... tasty! And healthy.

Stonielove, thanks--what nice things to say! :) I'm glad you stopped over here. Nice to meet you, and peace back atcha!

Emmy said...

The refried lentils sound delicious. I just read about it on Diann's blog. Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

scottishvegan said...

Hi Laura, in answer to your question I pretty much followed Susan's recipe for the baba ganoush. Strangely the only thing I did a little differently was to add some cumin directly to it as opposed to just sprinkling it on top! Great minds... and all that!!!

laura jesser said...

Emmy, thanks! I'm glad you stopped in.

Scottish vegan, that's funny. Yes, great minds...

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