Baba Ganoush

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  • If we are being totally honest with each other, I’ve never been a huge fan of eggplant. Hubby loves it- but it has never been at the top of my hit list. And now like every other blogger out there I’m going to say… until I created this recipe!

    close up overhead of creamy baba ganoush with olive oil and spices

    I swear not to bore you with a long, drawn-out story. But we went to one of our favorite tapas restaurants and they served a roasted eggplant plant fusion with green chiles- it was fantastic! But I wanted to churn out something more traditional so I experimented with Baba Ganoush.

    What is Baba Ganoush?

    Other than just being fun to say, baba ganoush is also sometimes spelled baba ganoush,, baba ghanoush, baba ghanouj or baba ghanoush, and is from the eastern Mediterranean. It is popular in Lebanese and Turkish food, among others and is termed a Middle Eastern Dip.

    hand holding pita bread with baba ganoush

    The base of a baba ganoush recipe is always mashed roasted eggplant and generally some sort of sesame seed, either oil or tahini and of course, garlic cloves. Lemon juice thins it out, but from there it is seasoned and spiced differently in every restaurant and household that creates it.

    The method for cooking the whole eggplant also varies. Some folks will use an open flame and char the skin, but since they are so large, this can take time. You can do it on an outside grill, fire pit or open flame on a gas stove. I opt for roasting in the oven. This cooks the eggplant, but also makes the charred skin easy to remove.

    In the states, it is commonly served with pita chips or flat breads, but customarily, it comes with fresh vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, onions and tomatoes. It can be a dip, but also a spread for wraps and sandwiches.

    Taste

    This middle eastern dip is a fairly mild dip that relies just as much on the seasonings as it does on the unique texture that eggplant brings. It is thick and creamy, but also a little earthy and rustic. Most people who enjoy hummus and tahini, will also like this creamy dip.

    close up of roasted eggplant dip

    Smoked paprika isn’t spicy like other varieties. Cumin also gives a unique taste to otherwise fairly plain eggplant. Like so many other things, you can choose to increase or decrease the seasonings to please your palate.

    Ingredients

    Many of my recipes are made with mostly simple ingredients, this one is not, so make a list and head to the store.

    pita bread dipping into roasted eggplant dip
    • Whole Eggplants– The star of the dish! Focus more on the overall weight than the amount since their shape varies greatly. No need to hit the number right on the nose, just get in the vicinity. I used medium eggplants.
    • Fresh garlic cloves- Please use fresh garlic and not the jarred stuff. It tastes sweet and doesn’t give the pungent taste we want from garlic.
    • Fresh lemon juice & lemon zest– Both form the same lemon, juice and zest probably produce widely different offerings to the dish. Juice is tart and acidic, while zest gives a clean, lemon flavor without the sour. Use both for the best balance.
    • Plain Greek yogurt– Full fat is the best option for a thick and creamy dish. Swap out for reduced fat, but note you might lose some body.
    • Extra-virgin olive oil– for roasting and the dip. Any neutral olive will work, we just liked sticking with a mediterranean oil.
    • Flat-leaf parsley- Also known as Italian parsley, use fresh only. Dried won’t have to to reconstitute. Curly doesn’t have flavor.
    • Coarse Kosher salt– If using a fine salt, reduce to half the volume.
    • Ground cumin– Rich and earthy cumin adds depth to this dish. Take a nice whiff before adding it to get the full-bodied essence.
    • Smoked paprika– swap for sweet or spicy paprika based on taste preferences
    • Tahini– Another base element that can’t be substituted, make your own or grab a jar at the store. Tahini is a seed oil and can go rancid, so check yours before adding to the recipe.

    How to Make

    This is an easy baba ganoush recipe, but does take a little time and happens in two steps, three if you are me.

    1. Prep a rimmed baking sheet and preheat the oven.
    2. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and brush the cut sides with olive oil. Place the cut side down on the baking sheet.
    3. Roast until the flesh is soft and the skin can easily be peeled back. The cooking and cooling time will vary depending o the size of your eggplant, so check it often. Let it cool, this job is much easier done with your hands and you don’t want to burn yourself.
    4. Scoop the flesh out of each eggplant, discard the skin. Place the flesh in a large colander lined with cheesecloth or a tea towel. Press well to get out as much moisture as possible. Getting the dry flesh will determine how creamy it is; more moisture won’t impact the flavor, but it will on texture.
    5. Transfer the drained eggplant flesh to a food processor and add the garlic, lemon juice, zest, yogur, olive oil and seasonings. Blitz until the eggplant starts to become smooth, it might take a minute or two.
    6. Use the opening in the lid to drizzle in tahini to emulsify.
    7. Transfer to a serving bowl and chill or serve at room temperature.
    step-by-step images of how to make baba ganoush

    To make yours extra pretty, top it will toasted pine nuts, pomegranate arils, paprika dusting, microgreens, sesame seeds or infused olive oil .

    What to Serve with Baba Ganoush

    Roasted eggplant dip it so versatile, you can serve it with nearly anything that can be dipped. Here are my favorites:

    • Fresh veggies: carrots, radish slices, celery sticks, broccoli and cauliflower florets, bell peppers
    • Pita chips, pita bread crackers or parmesan crisps
    • Olives

    You can also use your baba ganoush as a spread for sandwiches or wraps.

    overhead of baba ganoush with dipping ideas

    Storage & Freezing

    Baba ganoush can certainly be made ahead and stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. In fact, I like making mine a day ahead so the flavors can marry.

    It can also be frozen, but the consistency might change a tad when thawing.

    baba ganoush recipe for pinterest

    More dip recipes:

    Bacon Ranch Dip
    bowl of bacon ranch dip with scallions and potato chips
    Bacon and ranch collide into one delicious chip dip with this easy Bacon Ranch Dip recipe!
    Chili Cheese Dip
    A bowl chili cheese dip
    If you are a fan of dips you need to make this 3 ingredient Chili Cheese Dip, whips up in under 10 minutes and is fool-proof!
    Mexican Cream Cheese Shrimp Dip
    cream cheese shrimp spread
    Take your usual cocktail sauce shrimp dip up a notch with this Mexican Cream Cheese Shrimp Dip recipe. It's perfect for any get together or party!
    close up of creamy baba ganoush in a white bowl

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    overhead of baba ganoush with dippers
    Print Recipe
    5 from 2 votes

    Baba Ganoush (Roasted Eggplant Dip)

    Traditional spices with a creamy base makes this roasted eggplant dip the perfect pairing for pita chips or veggies sticks.
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time30 mins
    Total Time45 mins
    Course: Appetizer, Condiment
    Cuisine: Mediterranean
    Keyword: baba ganoush, eggplant dip recipe
    Servings: 4 cups
    Calories: 81kcal
    Author: Jessica Formicola

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    • Preheat the oven 450°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil and coat with cooking spray
    • Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and brush the cut sides with olive oil. Place the cut side down on the baking sheet.
    • Roast for 35-45 minutes or until the flesh is soft and the skin starts to collapse and can easily be peeled back. The cooking time will vary depending o the size of your eggplant, so check frequently. Set the eggplant aside to cool before handling.
    • Scoop the flesh out of each eggplant, discard the skins. Place the flesh in a large colander lined with cheesecloth or a tea towel. Press lightly to get out as much moisture as possible.
    • Transfer the drained flesh to a food processor and add the garlic, lemon juice, zest, yogurt, 1/3 cup of the olive oil, parsley, salt, cumin and paprika. Pulse until the eggplant starts to become smooth and ingredients are incorporated.
    • Add the tahini in a slow drizzle while the food processor is on, until fully incorporated and smooth.
    • Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Serve with pita slices and veggies.
    • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or ratings!

    Nutrition

    Calories: 81kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 244mg | Potassium: 304mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 95IU | Vitamin C: 10.6mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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