When Raw is Wrong


A few months back, DAD GANSIE was impressed by a traditional baba ghanoush I brought home.  Ignoring the seasonality of the ingredients, I told him I would make it for him again while I was home over the holidays.  But with so many temptations all over the house, I couldn’t simply stick with eggplant, oil, garlic, lemon and tahini.  Oh, no.  I had to add and add and add.  Dips bring out the worst in me.  And most of the time, they work out wonderfully.  But sometimes, they take hours and days of work.  This one was one of them.

I roasted two Chinese eggplants, slit them in half, rubbed oil on the cut side and then placed that side down.  I also used a fork to Peirce the skin a few times – 375 for about 30 minutes.  In my parent’s second oven, I roasted one red pepper then stuffed it in tupperware to let it steam to help get the skin off.  While that was happening, I prepared the other ingredients.  The ingredient that brought down the integrity of the dip.

Yea, so never add a whole RAW red onion to a dip.  Never.  It will sting your entire body.  The dip will suck and then you will take the next hour figuring out how to get that flavor out.  And it will suck.

Once I scraped out the eggplant insides, I whizzed that in a food processor with the red pepper, the diced RAW red onion, tahini sauce, non fat half and half, crema mexicana, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper, lemon juice and zest and olive oil.  Then added in cream cheese to try to dilute the sting.

It still smacked of red onion, so with some insight from this recipe, I let the mixture sit over some heat for about 30 minutes, trying to get the onion flavor to cook out.  And well, it kinda worked.  But I still wasn’t happy.  So I threw it in tupperware and let it sit in my fridge for a few days.  Punishment, if you will.

I took it out, mixed it around with some more salt and lemon juice and you know what – it worked.  Maybe peaceful tactics really do get the job done.  Serve with cucumber slices.

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  • BS January 5, 2009  

    one thing you can do if you wanna use raw red o in a dip: Dice it up and then marinate it in the juice of one lime–let that sit for half and hour before you add it to the dip–totally cuts down the sharpness of the onion.

  • gansie January 5, 2009  

    hmm, i wonder if grating the onion would work too? maybe i shouldn’t have been so stubborn in thinking it would never work.

  • belmontmedina January 5, 2009  

    One of my roommates loves garlic hummus, but neglected to cook the 4 cloves of garlic he threw into one of his first batches. It made us all cry.

  • Very Very Good Girl January 5, 2009  

    I’ve grated raw onion into the dish and my onion-hating husband was very upset – it still has that raw sting & made my eyes tear like crazy while grating. What a great idea to soak in lime juice to “cook” the onion. I will have to try that!

  • erica September 3, 2010  

    stopped by looking for eggplant recipes. gansie, you win the title of most frequent eggplant poster (only maids has ONE eggplant tagged post, the rest are yours).

    i have been told that soaking the cut onion in cold water for 1/2 hour will take a lot of the bite out, as well.

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