Baba Ganoush – Eggplant Spread

A few weeks ago when we made delicious and Healthy Hummus, my friend Cindy asked in the comment section what else could be made with that jar of tahini.

The answer? Baba Ganoush!

Baba what?

Baba Ganoush is incredibly delicious and easy roasted eggplant spread. Think of it as eggplant hummus.

Like hummus, I make mine with very little or no oil so it is a healthy alternative when you need something dip-able or snack-able.

Here’s what you need:

Eggplant, Garlic, Lemon(s), Tahini, Parsley, Cumin, Salt & Pepper.

Click here for a Baba Ganoush Shopping List

I’ve made baba ganoush a couple of ways and my favorite way is to roast the eggplant on the grill before baking it in the oven. This is very similar to roasting red bell peppers where the outside gets all black and soft. If you don’t have a grill or gas stove, you can skip this step and just bake the eggplant. It will taste great either way.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

To allow the steam to escape (and so the eggplant won’t explode in your oven), use a fork to poke several holes in the outer skin of the eggplant.

If you have a grill or gas stove, place the eggplant right over the flame. Turn it frequently so that all the sides get nicely charred.

The eggplant will shrivel up quite a bit but that’s okay. Once it has a nice black outer coating, place the eggplant on a baking sheet and bake it at 375 degrees for 20 more minutes.

You want the inside to become very soft. The eggplant is done when it is easily poked with a knife or fork. Allow the eggplant to cool while you prepare the other ingredients. If you did not pre-char the eggplant, you will need to increase the baking time to at least 30 minutes.

Tahini is a paste made from roasted sesame seeds. It has a wonderful nutty flavor and is used as a primary ingredient in hummus.

After complaining about the gloppy tahini jar, I got a great trip from my friend Paula who suggests that you take the jar of tahini out of the refrigerator and turn it UPSIDE DOWN while you work on your other ingredients. This allows gravity to help your tahini remix. Worked like a charm!

Add 1/4 cup of tahini to a bowl or to the bowl of a food processor or sturdy blender.

Chop up 2-3 cloves of garlic and then sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt onto the garlic on your cutting board.

Use the flat part of your knife to work the garlic and salt back and forth until they blend into a rough paste. This is a great tip for anything where you’re using raw garlic (guacamole!) and don’t necessarily want to bite into a whole piece of garlic.

Add the garlic paste to the bowl of tahini and squeeze in the juice of 1 or 2 lemons. I almost always end up adding more lemon.

When the eggplant has cooled, peel off the charred outer skin.

Not the most attractive vegetable, but still quite tasty.

Chop the inner flesh of the eggplant into big pieces.

Using your food processor, blender, or immersion blender, blend the eggplant to combine with the other ingredients. I like to leave this quite chunky so try not to over-blend into an ultra smooth paste.

Season with salt, pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon (or more) of cumin. Garnish with some freshly chopped parsley.

Serve your baba ganoush with pita bread, crackers, or cut up veggies like carrots, celery, and cucumbers.

Baba Ganoush. Fun to say. Delicious and healthy to eat!

Here’s the recipe:

Baba Ganoush

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5 Responses

  1. Yum! I love Baba Ganoush. I always thought that it was just regular hummus with eggplant in it– apparently I was on the right track, but didn’t quite get there! I’m going to have to invest in some tahini to try this recipe and the hummus!

    Sara

  2. I LOVE eggplants too. A few years ago, I had an eggplant plant that was so productive and I didn’t learn about this dish until it was DONE.
    Honestly, isn’t saying baba ganoush just fun in itself??? Yummmers.

  3. Claudia, thanks for this recipe, and especially the direction to pierce the eggplant before baking it! I neglected to do this once and was very sorry–quite a mess to clean up.
    The baba ganoush at Tony’s Deli, the middle-eastern restaurant in Orlando, has a slightly smoky taste that’s really good. I’ve been able to come close to duplicating it by adding just a few tiny drops of liquid smoke. A little goes a long way, so you have to be very careful not to over do it.

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