Babaganoush & Spiced Beef
Babaganoush is a really lovely Lebanese dish of smokey eggplant. Traditionally the eggplant is charred on the outside using a fire or gas flame. I’ve used the overhead grill (broiler) in the recipe to make it easier for home cooks. But if you have access to a naked flame, by all means go for the more traditional method. You’ll be rewarded by the extra smokey flavour.
enough for: 2
takes: 30 minutes
2 medium eggplant
2 teaspoons baharat (or 1 teaspoon each ground coriander and cumin)
2 steaks, sliced into strips
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
baby spinach or salad to serve
1. Halve each eggplant lengthwise and place cut side down on a baking tray. Cook under an overhead grill (broiler) for 20 minutes or until charred on the outside and soft inside. Place in a bowl and cover with cling wrap.
2. Meanwhile combine spices with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season and cover steaks with the spiced oil.
3. When the eggplant is cool enough to touch, remove and discard the skin. Place the flesh in a sieve and allow to drain. Coarsely chop the flesh and return to a bowl. Stir in tahini and lemon juice. Season taste and adjust as required.
4. While the eggplant is cooking and cooling, heat a BBQ or frying pan on a medium high heat. Cook steak strips for about 5 minutes, stirring as needed until browned on the outside but still pink in the middle.
5. Serve hot steak on a bed of the babaganoush with salad on the side.
whole steaks – keep steaks whole and cook for 3-5 minutes in a hot pan or until you’re happy.
different meat – also lovely with lamb fillet, pork fillet, chicken breast or chicken thigh fillets.
vegetarian – replace steak with sliced halloumi, tofu or eggplant.
vegan – replace steak with a drained can of chickpeas, white beans or lentils. Toss the legumes in the spiced oil and cook until hot.
no tahini – tahini is a nutty paste made from sesame seeds. The best substitute is sun butter (butter made from sunflower seeds) or use other nut butters such as cashew or peanut butter – the flavour will be different but still lovely. You could also substitute natural yoghurt.
short on time – skip the eggplant and serve the spiced meat on a bed of commercial eggplant dip / babaganoush or hummus.
more substantial – serve with pita bread, tortillas, cooked couscous, quinoa or steamed rice on the side.
more veg – serve with tabbouleh.
more substantial (low carb) – add some pine nuts or macadamias.
keto / ultra low carb = replace babaganoush with mayo.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
eggplant (aubergine) – will keep in the fridge wrapped in a plastic bag for a few weeks. Can be frozen if needed. Or cooked eggplant eggplant should last a month or so.
baharat – keep in the pantry.
tahini – I keep mine in the pantry but will keep longer in the fridge if open.
steaks – freeze them.
lemon – will keep for months in a plastic bag in the fridge.
baby spinach /salad leaves – are highly perishable. My first path would be to use them for another meal (salad for breakfast!) but if that isn’t possible you can pop them in the freezer. They will wilt down but can then be used anywhere you’d use wilted greens. At least this way they won’t go slimy.