Sometimes served as a side dish, Baba Ghanoush (Baba Ganoush) is a Lebanese dish of eggplant mashed and mixed with various seasonings. Grilling the eggplant for this dip softens the pulp and gives it a smoky flavor.
The traditional preparation method is for the eggplant to be baked or broiled over an open flame before peeling, so that the pulp is soft and has a smoky taste. It is a typical starter dish in Middle Eastern cuisine, often eaten as a dip with pita bread, and is sometimes added to other dishes.
In my recipe for Baba Ghanoush, the eggplant is grilled on all sides until blackened. The pulp inside becomes soft. That’s the part you’ll be using in the recipe. It takes on a wonderful smoky flavor after being grilled. You’ll discard the blackened skins. You can either grill the whole eggplant or cut them in half and grill them this way.
How to make Baba Ghanoush:
In a food processor, process the smoky eggplant pulp with tahini (sesame paste), lemon juice, garlic, cayenne, salt and black pepper until it is nice and smooth. That’s it!
Scoop it into a serving dish and make a decorative swirl. Drizzle a good-flavored olive oil on top. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.
Serve with pita bread wedges or pita chips. Carrots and celery are also good dunkers for Baba Ghanoush!
Here are a few more recipes featuring eggplant that you might like to try:
- Beef and Eggplant Casserole
- Eggplant Rolatini
- Grilled Eggplant Salad with Feta and Pine Nuts
- Grandma’s Baked Eggplant Parmesan
- Roasted Eggplant with Chiles, Peanuts and Mint
- Marinated Eggplant with Capers and Mint
- Sichuan Eggplant
- Grilled Eggplant, Tomato and Goat Cheese Sandwiches
- 3 pounds eggplant (about 3 medium)
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1½ teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- paprika sprinkled on top, optional
- olive oil (for drizzling on top)
- chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Warm up the grill to high heat. Pierce the eggplants several times with a sharp knife. Place on the grill and cover. Cook, turning occasionally until blackened all over and the eggplant skin is very soft (20 minutes or so). Remove from grill and cool.
- Halve eggplants lengthwise. Scrape the flesh into a colander and let drain. Discard the skins.
- In the bowl of a food processor, blend the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cayenne, salt and pepper until smooth. Add the eggplant and continue to process until mixture is smooth.
- Scoop into a serving dish. Drizzle with good olive oil and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve with fresh vegetables and pita bread.
- WW points do not include oil drizzled on top)
- Make sure the tahini has been well stirred.
- NOTE: You can either grill the eggplants whole, or cut them in half and grill them on all sides that way.