© 2022 Alanna Hale
Cook the eggplants directly on the burner of a gas stove or in the oven. On a gas stove, sear the eggplants directly over a medium-high flame. Rotate every 5 minutes until the globes are completely blackened, about 15 minutes total. Alternately, preheat the oven to 450°F. Place the eggplants on a sheet tray, poke them all over with the tines of a fork, rub them with the oil, and place the tray in the oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until the eggplants collapse in on themselves, and the skins are blackened.
Place the cooked eggplants in a bowl and seal the bowl with plastic wrap to let the eggplants steam in their own juices.
In a medium bowl, combine the garlic, lemon juice and zest, cumin, salt, and black pepper.
When the eggplants have cooled enough to touch, split them lengthwise. Using a spoon, scrape out the pulp, discarding the skins and stems. For a milder flavor, scrape the seeds off the strands of pulp.
Use a fork to mash the pulp into the lemon-garlic mix. Fold in the tomato, bell pepper, and onion. Adjust the salt to taste.
When ready to serve, scoop the eggplant mixture onto a serving plate, drizzle it with the olive oil, and garnish it with the parsley and molasses. Baba ghanouj can be stored, ungarnished, in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.