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Baba Ganosh Dip

This baba ganoush recipe is incredibly easy to make and jam-packed with delicious eggplant, roasted garlic, and tahini flavors!

This appetizer, or side dish, is a classic levant region recipe consisting of mashed cooked eggplant that is mixed with seasonings, olive oil, lemon juice, and tahini.  Interestingly enough the baba ganoush we eat most often in the United States is actually something called Mutabbal.

Authentic baba ganoush does not use tahini and is usually garnished with pomegranate molasses or seeds and olive oil while being mixed with tomatoes and other veggies.  So as not to confuse anyone, we’ll stick with the version we most commonly eat here in the US.

Ingredients

There are few ingredients in this recipe making it easy to make and extremely full-flavored.  Here is what you will most often find in this classic recipe:

  • Egg Plant: A purple spongy absorbent fruit that has a thick peeling on the outside. You can find quite a bit of size and different breeds, but any will do for this recipe.
  • Tahini: Simply ground up sesame seeds and you can purchase raw or toasted from the store.
  • Roasted Garlic: I prefer to make garlic confit instead because it tastes better, it’s easier to do and in the end, you have roasted garlic olive oil.
  • Lemon Juice: This will provide some much-needed acid to the recipe as well as cut some of the spice and oftentimes bitter flavors from the eggplant.
  • Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil will provide more flavor but fine to use just virgin olive oil.
  • Cumin: This earthy ground spice is a staple in this recipe.
  • Cayenne: Spicy ground pepper gives fantastic flavor to baba ganoush.

How to Make Baba Ganoush From Scratch

Follow these easy to follow instructions for making this amazing recipe:

Add some peeled garlic to olive oil and lightly simmer it over low heat for about 45 minutes or until browned and softened.  Drain the oil from the garlic and set both aside.

Cook the eggplant directly onto a hot grill (450° to 550°) turning often to cook all sides until roasted and softened about 20-25 minutes.

Remove the eggplant and let it cool slightly before slicing in half and removing the cooked fruit inside.  Discard the skins.

Add the eggplant to a food processor along with lemon juice, tahini, cumin, roasted garlic, salt, and pepper, and cayenne and pulse on high speed.

Slowly drizzle in the roasted garlic olive oil while processing the dip until it is smooth. Serve.

Is it Healthy?

Baba ganoush is pretty low in calories, at 85 per 1/3 cup, and is loaded with mostly healthy fats and ingredients.  Just like anything, it should be eaten in moderation but don’t worry because this guilt-free dip is absolutely delicious. 

Recipe Chef Notes + Tips

Make-Ahead: This can be made up to 1 day ahead of time.  Simply keep it covered in the refrigerator until it is ready to be served.

How to Store: Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  Baba Ganoush does not freeze well.

This recipe would be traditionally made by chopping it or anything to help mash and keep it slightly chunky.  However, you know I’m not a huge eggplant fan so I like it a bit smoother.  You can try either way. 

If you would like to make a classic baba ganoush instead of Mutabbal, remove the tahini, and garnish with pomegranate syrup or seeds, as well as olive oil.  In addition, there is no need to process it in a food processor, simply chop with a knife or mash with a fork.

You can use either raw or roasted tahini in this recipe.

I enjoy the extra added garlic cloves, however, in a classic recipe, the amount would be cut down by 1/2 or 1/3.

If cayenne is too spicy simply substitute with paprika.

Cumin would not be classically used but in small amounts, it will help enhance the flavor. 

There will be plenty of garlic confit and roasted garlic olive oil left over after this recipe and both will keep in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

When the eggplant is done roasting the outside skin will firm up and be slightly crispy.

Consider poking holes in the eggplant before baking it in the oven so that it does not explode.

Originally published in billyparisi.com

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