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Classic Mediterranean baba ghanouj eggplant dip. Baked eggplant pureed with tahini, garlic, and olive oil.

Ready in:

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4-8 as an appetizer

Summer is the season for eggplant, and one of the best things in the world you can make with eggplant is the middle eastern eggplant dip known as baba ganoush (also spelled baba ghanouj).

Use globe eggplants for baba ganoush

To make it, you take large globe eggplants (the ones that look like giant dark purple eggs), cut them in half, and either roast or grill them.

Then you scoop out the fleshy insides with a spoon, and mash it up with olive oil, garlic, sesame tahini, lemon juice, and spices.

Use as a dip for with toasted pita bread or crackers. Make a lot because you’ll want it eat it all and then some!

You can use a food processor to make baba ghanouj, but take care not to make it too smooth; this is supposed to be a rustic, slightly chunky dip.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 globe eggplants (totaling 2 lbs)
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp roasted tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (more or less depending on how garlicky you want your baba ghanouj to be), finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Juice of one lemon – about 2 1/2 tablespoons
  • Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley

Method

1 Cook the eggplants:

a) Oven method Preheat oven to 400°F. Poke the eggplants in several places with the tines of a fork. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and brush the cut sides lightly with olive oil (about 1 Tbsp).

Place on a baking sheet, cut side down, and roast until very tender, about 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

b) Grilling method Preheat grill. Poke the eggplants in a few places with a fork, then rub the eggplants with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.

Grill over high heat, turning as each side blackens. Put the charred eggplants in a paper bag, close the bag and let the eggplants steam in their skins for 15-20 minutes.

2 Scoop the eggplant flesh into a large bowl and mash well with a fork.

3 Add garlic, olive oil, tahini, cumin, lemon juice, salt, cayenne: Combine the eggplant, minced garlic, remaining olive oil (about 2 Tbsp), tahini, cumin, 2 Tbsp of the lemon juice, the salt, and a pinch of cayenne.

Mash well. You want the mixture to be somewhat smooth but still retaining some of the eggplant’s texture.

4 Cool and season to taste: Allow the baba ganoush to cool to room temperature, then season to taste with additional lemon juice, salt, and cayenne.

If you want, swirl a little olive oil on the top. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.

Serve with pita bread, crackers, toast, sliced baguette, celery, or cucumber slices.

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