Baba Ganoush is a silky, smoky Middle Eastern roasted eggplant dip with tahini,garlic, lemon, olive oil and spices.
It’s super easy to make and delicious.
Eggplants of all sizes, shapes and shades are available in the market right now. There are beautiful pearly white ones, long thin eggplants a beautiful shade of purple, large round dark purple eggplants that are almost black and even some with stripes. They come small, large, thin and fat. What a variety. Choose an eggplant that is firm and heavy. This means it is fresh, not dried out.
One of my favorite eggplant recipes is baba ganoush. Just put it on the grill for awhile and it cooks up perfectly. All you need is a bowl, a fork and a knife. No other equipment is necessary.
Roasting on an open flame imparts a delicate smoky flavor into the eggplant flesh. The best way is to roast it on your grill. Alternately you can roast it on the flame of your gas stove.
If you do not have a gas stove, slice the eggplant into rounds broiling it to get that roasted, smoky flavor.
Once the eggplant is cooked let it cool. I often cook it the day before and then chill in the refrigerator.
The rest of the recipe is super simple. Peel and chop the eggplant and put it into a bowl.
I like to smash the garlic on a cutting board with the broad side of a chef’s knife. Then sprinkle the salt on the smashed clove, and mash it into the garlic to get a puree. But you can just mince it.
Add it to the eggplant with the lemon juice, tahini, cumin and a pinch of cayenne (if using).
That’s it, mix well. The more you mix it the creamier it gets. Taste to adjust seasonings and serve sprinkled with a little olive oil.
History of Baba Ganoush
Baba ganoush is said to have originated in Lebanon. It is enjoyed as a national dish, in Iraq, Armenia, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Egypt and Turkey.
It can be spelled baba ganoush or baba ghanoush.
In Arabic baba ganoush means “pampered papa.” According to old Arabic folklore originating in Syria, there was a caring daughter who mashed all of the food she cooked for her elderly toothless father, or baba, as he was unable to chew. One of the vegetables she mashed was eggplant, with the addition of olive oil, lemon juice, and tahini. This was the precursor to the popular baba ganoush today.
Baba ganoush has a silky in texture and smoky in flavor. It’s a creamy, delicious appetizer that’s gluten free, vegan and paleo. Your family and guests will love it.
Serve with cucumbers, carrots, radishes or chips. In the Middle East they eat baba ganoush for breakfast with pita bread and a variety of pickles and vegetables.
I take baba ganoush to the beach and on picnics and hikes because it’s doesn’t spoil in the summer heat like mayonnaise based dips.
I hope you love this dip as much as I do. It’s creamy without a lot of oil. It has a slightly sweet perfectly balanced taste from the tahini and lemon.
If you like this recipe try these other delicious eggplant dishes:
Please let me know how you like this recipe in the comments! I appreciate your feedback so much. Let me know what you’re taking to the beach with you this summer. ♥
A easy to make silky, smoky, creamy Middle Eastern appetizer.
- Heat grill on medium or prepare a medium hot charcoal fire.*
- Prick eggplant with a fork in a few places and place on the grill rack.
- Grill turning frequently until the skin blackens and the flesh feels soft 15-20 minutes. If the skin is getting black and the eggplant is still not soft turn down the heat to low. You want the eggplant to be soft and mushy but you don’t want the flesh burnt.
- Remove eggplant from the grill. Place into a bowl and cover. Let cool or refrigerate overnight.
- Once it is cool, peel off and discard the skin and liquid.
- Coarsely chop the flesh and put it into a bowl
- Using a fork mash the eggplant to a paste.
- Smash the garlic on a cutting board with the broad side of a chef’s knife. Sprinkle the salt on the smashed clove, and mash it into the garlic until you get a puree. Alternately you can just mince the garlic. Add to the eggplant.
- Add the tahini, , lemon juice, cumin and cayenne. Mix well until creamy.
- Taste and add more salt, tahini and/or lemon juice, if needed.
- Drizzle olive oil over the top.
- Serve with cucumber, carrots, radishes, chips or pita bread.
- Store in the refrigerator for 3 days.
If you don’t have a grill roast on your gas stove top. Place eggplant directly on top of the gas range grate. Turn the flame to medium. Allow eggplant to roast over the flame for 20-30 minutes, until the skin chars and the inside is soft. Give it a quarter every 5 minutes as it cooks. The larger the eggplant, the longer it will take to roast. Smaller eggplants (like Japanese eggplants) will roast faster. When finished cooking, remove from oven and proceed to recipe.
If you don’t have a gas stove or grill:
Slice your eggplant into 1/4 inch rounds and sprinkle with sea salt and place in a colander in the sink to drain any excess liquid. After 10 minutes, rinse slightly and then pat dry between two towels.Arrange on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Broil on top rack for 5-10 minutes, turning once or twice, until the eggplant is softened and golden brown. Remove from pan, put into a bowl and cover to lock in moisture – wait until cool, proceed with recipe.
- Category: Appetizer
- Cuisine: Paleo, Vegan, Gluten Free
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