You know how, at the end of my last blog post, I mentioned that it was snowing and Paris? And how it was probably going to freeze overnight? Yeah, it totally froze overnight.
I, stubbornly and a bit stupidly, left my apartment this morning and decided that, since it wasn’t snowing at that precise moment, it would be a good idea to bike to work. I made it there alive, but it involved biking really, really slow. Really slow. My options were to bike along the main roads with the cars, who barely knew what to do with icy roads but at least most of the roads had been melted down by traffic, OR take the dedicated bike lanes, which had not been cleaned and had frozen into various ridges and funnels. What was I thinking?
Anyway, the rest of my day was busy but largely uneventful. After work and then teaching English in the evening, I hit the Monoprix in my neighborhood on the way home to get some groceries and then got home and made some food. I made the MOST AWESOME HOMESTYLE BABA GHANNOUJ EVER. I don’t even know if it counts as a recipe, it was so easy (note, it probably isn’t the proper recipe, either). Here’s what I did:
- Take two large eggplants (in this case, “graffiti” eggplants), split them down the middle and place them in a grilling pan, cut sides up. Salt liberally and wait for the surfaces to turn wet with leeched-out moisture.
- In the meanwhile, take a whole head of garlic and, without peeling anything, just cut across the crown of the head, so that most of the cloves are exposed at the top. Pull off any papery skin that is getting in the way, place it on a square of aluminum foil, add a bit of olive oil, then wrap as tightly as possible. Add to the pan.
- Take two onions, cut off the tops and bottoms, peel, and then cut in half across the rings. Place them, cut sides up, on the pan as well.
- Place the whole pan in a low-head oven and walk away.
- When the whole place smells of roasted garlic, pull the garlic out and squeeze it lightly to make sure that it’s totally soft. Unwrap and leave on counter.
- Turn up the heat in the oven to medium and wait for the smell of the onions to become sweet and caramel-like.
- Turn on the broiler and char the surfaces of the eggplants and onions
- Pull out the eggplants, take a fork, and scrape out the meat of the eggplant into a bowl.
- Take the onions and chop roughly and add to bowl.
- Take the cooled head of garlic and start squeezing each clove, which should come out like a soft paste.
- With your fork, mix all of these together vigorously. If you have a stick blender, this is a good time to use the stick blender.