Roasted Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghanouj)

Roasted Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghanouj)

I love to talk food. Especially with my good friend Tamara. She’s always up-to-speed on who’s serving what and where to go for the best this or that. Just recently we were talking (well, complaining) about all the high-priced offal that seems to show up on every new menu. While we’re okay with the trend, we also won’t mind when innards are on the out.

Like me, Tamara is a fan of easy recipes that work well for entertaining. She loves my yummy hummus with fried garlic, and she made my secret green salsa for a party over the Fourth of July weekend. When we ran into each other at the park last week, she asked if I had anything new in the pipeline.  Like what? I asked. Dips, she said.

Here ya go, T.  Hope you and your family enjoy!  This dip is definitely one of John’s favorites, and (as you can see in the video) Jack is slowly coming around!

Roasted Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghanouj)

Serves 8 to 10 as an appetizer

These days, it seems like everyone is talking about the Mediterranean diet.  It’s not a “don’t eat this, don’t eat that” kind of diet, but more of a “eat lots of this, and this, and this” kind of plan, which is much more fun.  Good news: Everything in this roasted eggplant dip (also known as “baba ghanouj”) is on the “eat-this” list.  So whip some up and enjoy!    

2 large globe eggplants

2-4 tablespoons lemon juice

4 tablespoons Tahini (sesame seed paste)

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped (The fried garlic that I use in my hummus works well here, too!  If you use the fried garlic, use at least 4-5 cloves.)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or more to taste

1 tablespoon water, if desired

For serving: extra-virgin olive oil (to drizzle on top); freshly ground black pepper (to sprinkle on top); pita breads, cut into wedges; pita chips; or raw veggies (carrots, celery, radishes, cucumber, etc.)

Set oven to broil.  Line baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Place whole eggplants on prepared baking sheet.  Broil for 5 minutes.  Using tongs, rotate the eggplant ¼ turn and broil for 5 more minutes.  Continue rotating and broiling until skin is dark and blistered, and pulp is soft, about 20 minutes total.  Remove baking sheet from oven and set aside until eggplant is cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.

Cut off stem and discard.  Peel eggplant; discard skin.  Place pulp in the bowl of food processor.  Add lemon juice, Tahini, garlic, oil, and salt.  Pulse until smooth.  For a thinner consistency, add 1 tablespoon water and pulse again to combine.  Drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.  Serve immediately with pita-bread wedges, pita chips, or fresh veggies.

P.S.  For a video tutorial, see below. I made this video about a year ago, when Jack was first starting to eat solids.  At the time, I was really into making dishes that could serve as baby food for Jack and also as a side dish for John and me.  How else could I get dinner on the table?!

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6 Responses to Roasted Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghanouj)

  1. Imola Popescu July 8, 2011 at 12:41 am #

    Eggplant dip is very popular in my home country, Romania. We bake the eggplant of open fire, if possible. When I moved to Africa, I was surprised to see that people there do not prepare eggplant into a dip — what they do is braaing or in a moussaka, nut mostly just cooked together with other veggies in stews.

    • Marie H. Saba July 8, 2011 at 8:27 am #

      Hi Imola! This is so interesting! Thanks for sharing. Will you tell me more about how you cook the eggplant on an open fire? Do you cook the whole eggplant on a grill? About how long does it take to cook? The reason I ask is because I tried to cook an eggplant on a charcoal grill and it didn’t work very well. Maybe the fire was not hot enough, or maybe I did not leave it on the fire for long enough? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts! My best, Marie

  2. Rosari Birmingham July 14, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    Maria,
    Edwina, your mother-in-law, sent be a link to you blog because I was looking for a Roasted Eggplant recipe. I met you at the funeral. I have really enjoyed looking over your site and can’t wait to try many of your recipes, as well as your mother’s Key Lime Pie. It is a favorite of mine. BTW, do you have a good recipe for cooking fava beans? When we were in Sicily, we ate them often. My husband really does like them. Thanks!
    Be well,
    Rosari

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