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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Flea Market Fun

On my trip to Oakland in February, Cousin Lee and I went to the incredible Alameda Point Antiques Faire.  This market is a must for flea market aficionados, for the amazing array of collectibles, treasures, and other stuff, but also for the amazing view of the San Francisco skyline.  This has to be one of the top flea markets in the country and it's worth a trip to the Bay Area for this alone.

At the other end of the flea market spectrum is my favorite local market in Old Town Torrance (  This is a low-key, small, and free-admission street market, just the right size to wander for a couple of hours.  Recently a group of my art & craft friends met for a pre-shopping late breakfast at Rudy's (excellent blueberry pancakes & home fries) and I came home with some fabulous flea market finds:

Treasures from Torrance Flea Market 

Beautiful Rosa Bianca eggplant in handpainted pot
 (You'll probably think I've completely changed topics here but just wait.)I love Middle Eastern appetizers, especially  eggplant "dip", but I've never made it from scratch.  So I roasted two kinds of eggplant, common globe and gorgeous rosa bianca,  did my usually twisting and turning to make it my own, and the results were delicious.  Here's where I bring flea markets and a great recipe together.  A name for my recipe popped into my head and it took me full circle back to the flea market where you'll see all sorts of Hollywood memorabilia.  Because I gave my eggplant dish a little Latin flavor with cilantro and some chile heat, with collectible Ricky Ricardo inspiration I offer you "Babalu Ganoush":

Babalu Ganoush
1 globe eggplant
1 rosa bianca eggplant
1 garlic bulb
vegetable or olive oil
3 Tbsp. ground flax seed
3 Tbsp. oil
2 pinches ground cumin
2 pinches chile powder
1 tsp. liquid smoke
Kosher salt
1/2 a handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
 tortilla chips

-Preheat oven to 350.  Cut eggplants in half and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, along with the garlic bulb.  Prick the eggplant and garlic with a fork, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt, and bake for about 40 minutes.  Set aside until cool enough to handle then cut the eggplant into cubes and peel 3 of the garlic cloves.  (Half the eggplant and garlic is for this recipe and the other half is for I don't know what yet.)
-Add the ground flaxseed and 3 tablespoons of oil into a food processor and pulse until combined.
-Add in the cubed eggplant, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, chile powder, and liquid smoke and process until smooth and creamy.  Add the cilantro and pulse to combine.
- Put the mixture into a vintage bowl on a vintage tray, garnish with additional cilantro and chile powder, surround with tortilla chips, and serve.


  1. Liquid smoke is a soy-based mesquite smoked marinade sold at supermarkets.

  2. Yummy. You can cook for me anytime.

  3. My name is really Terrill, not e5431978-4d07-11e0-93ce-000f20980440

  4. I love your Babalu Ganoush - the name and the recipe! So creative, with the flax seeds instead of sesame sauce, and healthy too.
    Nice photos of the beautiful eggplant and of the finished dish.
    Do you measure the lemon juice or just add a squeeze and then taste if it needs more?

  5. Just a squeeze and taste. Thanks for your great comments!