Baba ganoush is a delicious Middle Eastern dip, usually served as a starter (collectively called mezé) across most of the countries in the Levant. It is very similar to hummus, in fact, it contains the same basic nut butter, tahini, but instead of chickpeas, it features smoky roasted eggplant as the main ingredient.
In this case, just like with the hummus, brace yourself to whip up very large batches of my baba ganoush recipes really often, as it’s sure to be in high demand among your family members and guests, and to vanish in the blink of an eye, once you introduce it into your diet.
Make sure to have at hand some fresh pita, crunchy bread, or at least crackers to serve your baba ganoush with. If you have time, make a fresh batch of falafel and a bowl of Israeli salad, too: everyone will love the combination!
- 3 eggplants
- 4 tbsp tahini
- 2 garlic cloves
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- The simplest way to prepare the eggplants for this recipe is to oven-roast them. Put the eggplants in a baking pan and leave them in a very hot oven at 400°F for about two hours, taking care to score at least one side with a knife, otherwise, they will not cook well inside. If you need to speed things up, seal the eggplants in a little foil packet, and they will cook in just one hour.
- Should you prefer to grill the eggplants on an open flame (it entails a lot of kitchen cleaning afterwards, but the flavor improves), proceed as follows: hold the eggplants directly over the flame of the gas burner, turning occasionally, with tongs, until completely tender and well charred on all sides. Even better, if you happen to have a BBQ, just BBQ them outside: it will save you the mess in the kitchen!
- When the eggplants are cooked, allow them to cool a bit, then scoop the pulp with the help of the spoon, and throw away the peel.
- Put the chopped garlic, tahini, and lemon juice in a bowl, then stir in the eggplant pulp and mash everything together with a fork, or with a potato masher if you have one. A food processor works well too, but it's not necessary.
- In fact, baba ganoush should not have a completely smooth, creamy consistency. What you want to achieve is a creamy, but not uniform texture: a bit lumpy is preferrable.
- Adjust the consistency with some tasty olive oil and finally add salt to taste.
- Serve at room temperature.
If anyone in your family does not like tahini, don’t worry: you can easily tweak this recipe into Lebanese mouttabbal, which is the same identical dish but prepared with yogurt, or turn it into Israeli salat hazilim, which would include mayo instead of tahini. Easy peasy!