Please join Florida Armenians in a special fundraising drive to donate benches to be placed around Davis Island (Tampa, FL) in memory of Alex and Andrea Kaloostian Espinola.
Gigi Kaloostian, mother of Alex and Andrea, created this fundraiser to honor their memory and each bench will include a plaque with both of their names.
It is our hope that these benches will serve as a home to meet friends and dogs, as well as a special place to share your Alex and Andrea stories.
Each bench is $2000, let’s put in as many as we can! The goal is to have these benches installed in May.
By Robyn Kalajian
Florida Armenians Cuisine Contributor
Back in December we were pleased to see a recipe for ‘Armenian Blistered Eggplant Dip’ by Dayana Sarkisova in the Washington Post. Why did this make us happy? Because the recipe, also known as ‘Baba Ghanoush’ or ‘Moutabal’, is one that we love. We also enjoy the grilled zucchini version of this, Mama Ghanoush.
By the way, this is perfect for Lent, which begins on Monday, February 24th this year.
Here’s my version of ‘Armenian Blistered Eggplant Dip’ –
‘Baba Ghanoush’, or, ‘Moutabal’:
(Making this recipe a day in advance will allow the flavors to develop.)
Yield: about 1 ½ to 2 cups
- 2 large purple eggplants
- 2 large cloves garlic, roasted and mashed
- ¼ cup chopped parsley or cilantro
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. Aleppo pepper (freshly ground black pepper may be substituted)
- 1 tsp. ground sumac (sold in Middle Eastern stores)
- 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat oven to 475°F. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Rinse eggplant; pat dry. Using a paring knife or fork, pierce the eggplant all around.
Wrap 2 large, unpeeled garlic cloves in foil. Place pierced eggplant and wrapped garlic on prepared baking sheet. Roast for about 30-35 minutes or until eggplant and garlic are soft. To test for softness, insert the fork or paring knife into the eggplant. It should slide in without any resistance.
Using tongs, place eggplant on a wire rack to cool. Remove garlic from foil; gently squeeze softened garlic into a bowl and mash with a fork. Set garlic aside until ready to add.
Once eggplant is cool enough to handle, put it on a cutting board, pull away the skin and discard. Roughly chop the eggplant, then place it in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients mixing to combine.
To make a semi-smooth mixture, puree it in a food processor for a few seconds, but don’t over-do it.
Return mixture to the mixing bowl to adjust seasonings, if necessary.
To Serve: Place eggplant dip into a serving bowl. Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro. Add a sprinkling of sumac and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.
It’s best served at room temperature with chips, crackers, vegetable sticks, pita bread triangles, or lavash.