Best Comfort Food to Pack On The Go: Baby Ganouj

Our hot lunch wagon presents a hot lunch you can take to work or school. Our recipes are quick, easy and less than 30 minutes to cook. Cook our recipes the night before, refrigerate and reheat the next day. Or, on the other hand, you can cook our meals and freeze them for next week’s lunch. Our special today is Baby Ganouj

Legend Heated Lunch Box
Heated Lunch Tote

HOT LUNCH WAGON: Baby Ganouj

Under the name baba ganouj, this Middle Eastern eggplant puree has a subtle yet haunting smoky flavor. Babies and children love the combination of seasonings (including sesame) and the smooth texture.

This is delicious as a spread or dip for pita ( try to use little pitas – pitettes – sometimes sold in supermarkets) or vegetables (the vegetables should be cooked if your child is younger than three).  Children like baba ganouj spread on a piece of bread.

BABY GANOUJ RECIPE

1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound)

½ parsley leaves

1 small garlic clove

1/3  cup fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  • Place the eggplant on a cookie sheet or cake pan and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until it begins to collapse.  ( It will collapse even more when you remove it from the oven and it starts to cool.)

HINT:  Sesame butter (tahini) is like peanut butter, only made with sesame seeds.  You can find it in health food stores, often sold in bulk, and in some supermarkets in the ethnic food section, where it is sold for Middle Eastern dishes.

  • When cool enough to handle , cut off the stem end of the cooked eggplant and discard.  Place the eggplant flesh in a food processor, along with the remaining ingredients ( including the eggplant juices that have collected in the baking pan) and puree until very smooth.  Correct the seasoning – you will need a generous amount of salt and perhaps more lemon juice. Pack it to go warm in a heated lunch tote.

VARIATION:  You can also spread this on a plain broiled chicken breast or broiled fillet of fish, to add a little interest and flavor.

STORAGE: This can be covered and refrigerated for up to 5 days

COOKING AHEAD OF TIME: The eggplant can be baked up to a day ahead (in the evening, perhaps, when you’re cleaning up the kitchen) and held, tightly covered, in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the puree.

You can carry your hot lunch in a heated lunch tote.

HOT LUNCH CHEF