Ready to try something new folks?
Sure you are!
How about roasting some eggplant over an open flame!
There! I have your attention.
It’s true. This recipe calls for roasting eggplant over an open flame. It also offers an alternative way to cook the eggplant but why would you NOT want to cook this over an open flame? I mean come on.
I have had this pasta light cookbook for a while. My mom found it at an Estate sale I believe and I finally started cooking out of it over break.
This is a great little cookbook! It’s an oldie but it has many recipes for my favorite food, pasta. If you look at my recipe index you can tell that I have an undying love for pasta. Obviously, it’s a carb. The recipes also have nutritional information for the sauce in the book which I love because it makes it easy to calculate how many calories I’m consuming (but that is information for another post).
I choose to make baba ghanoosh pasta first. It was a no brainer for me. I love eggplant and baba ghanoosh. Three summers ago I went to Turkey (Istanbul, Efasus, Izmir, and Bergamon). I loved the eating experience there (and my travel experience too!).
Dad makes a cameo.
Sorry to inundate you with photos but my obsession with Turkey is real.
First of all, you’re allowed to have cheese at breakfast. Also, there are a ton of olives. We had several meals with friends in Istanbul where we were brought a variety of small plates to eat from. I remember these meals vividly. There was always decadent lamb, hummus, olives, feta, baklava, and of course baba ghanoosh. It was almost always on the table and I almost always ate extra because I was traveling with my dad and he doesn’t care for eggplant. Also, I was at my heaviest and totally eating everything in sight without thinking about it and was upset with my weight but not upset enough to change my habits.
Delicious food. Look at how green and glorious that cucumber is!
It should also be noted that the glass that looks like ice water with that dish of green olives? Yeah. That’s what happens when you order a dirty martini in Istanbul. You get a glass full of vermouth with a dish of olives. Yes I was that WASP ordering a martini in Turkey. In my defense, I was younger and hadn’t yet mastered cultural competency in the way I have now and I’m cringing a little bit but I’m going to go ahead and own it.
Anyways, I will not claim that this is as good or as authentic as the delicious food I consumed in Turkey but it is reminiscent and I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to roast eggplant over an open flame.
Baba Ghanoosh Pasta
2 servings of your favorite kind of pasta (I used brown spaghetti)
1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp oregano
2 garlic cloves (1/2 finely chopped, 1 1/2 rough chop)
1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 medium eggplant
1/6 cup parsley leaves
1/6 cup non fat Greek yogurt
In a mixing bowl combine the lemon juice, finely chopped garlic, oregano and oil. Combine with a fork. Lay the chicken in mixing bowl. Coat the chicken in the mixture and let it marinate for at least 30 mins.
In the meantime, you will roast the eggplant. I cut the top off the eggplant and speared it with a fork. If you have a larger fork I would use that. I used a regular sized one and it worked but a larger fork would just give you more control.
I took the grate off the top of the burner and turned the heat up to high. Then I took the speared eggplant and cooked it over the burner, rotating it so it would be evenly cooked. It should take around 15 mins.
Cook the eggplant like so.
When the eggplant is fully cooked the skin will be blistered and loose (like above). Set aside and let it cool off. Once the eggplant has cooled off enough to handle you can peel the skin off. Set the oven to broil.
Then turn your attention back to the chicken. Grease a pan with cooking spray and lay the chicken on the pan. Place in the oven.
Broil for 7 mins on each side. After 14 mins check the chicken to make sure it is fully cooked. Set aside.
In the meantime, work on the sauce. Take the peeled eggplant and cut up to cooked eggplant. Add the eggplant and the rest of the garlic and parsley to a food processor and pulse until combined.
Once the garlic, eggplant and parsley are combined. Next add lemon, black pepper and yogurt to the food processer and mix again.
After the mixing is complete, chop the chicken. In the mean time you can cook some pasta to go with your sauce. I used brown spaghetti (my personal fave).
Take the sauce and the chopped chicken and mix with the pasta and serve!
This was delicious. The Greek yogurt added creaminess to the sauce without adding a ton of calories. The total calorie count for the sauce and chicken is 185 calories per serving. Plus the pasta serving this is a pretty low calories dinner.
Also, this chicken? Perfection. Moist and seasoned and delicious. I should marinade chicken more frequently because it was easy and didn’t actually take that much time to do. I’ve actually made the chicken since and thrown it into other dishes. It’s a great based for anything that demands chicken.
I’m curious: Have you ever done anything embarrassing in another country or region? When I moved to Boston I pronounced word “pea-body” rather than “pea-bdy” as the locals do. I got corrected real quickly. I also ordered iced tea in London and got stated at like I had a third head.