Photo: ThinkstockMichelin-starred San Francisco chef Mourad Lahlou, author of the forthcoming cookbook Mourad: New Moroccan, adheres only slightly to tradition when making North African food, and that includes his baba ghanoush. Most recipes suggest baking the eggplant first, but Lahlou chars it instead-and, even more unorthodoxly, he chars the flesh, not the skin, which eliminates all bitterness and gives it a sweeter flavor.
It's a technique that works for leeks, fennel and beets too. Though bitterness isn't usually an issue with those vegetables, they still get a huge flavor boost. To do it, make sure you turn the fan over your stove to high; in this case, there isn't much distinction between charring and burning, so be prepared for a strong smell. Set a large, dry cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
Let it warm up for about five minutes; then char the eggplantRead More »from How to Char Vegetables Like a Pro