Baba ganoush, or baba ghanouj, is a classic Mediterranean dip that is a unique alternative to hummus. Made with eggplant, spices, tahini, and olive oil, this pureed dip is light and extremely enjoyable with fresh vegetables or pita bread. Classically, people drizzle a little olive oil and freshly chopped parsley on top for serving. Because it’s made from roasted eggplants instead of chickpeas (like hummus is), this dip feels much lighter when you eat it.
In order to make baba ganoush, you have to roast an eggplant. This is a very easy process because all you have to do is cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, season it, drizzle some olive oil on it, and roast it cut-side down. The average eggplant takes about 40-50 minutes to roast. You want the inside to be soft so that you can easily blend it with the other ingredients. Roasting the eggplant cut-side down also allows the flesh to caramelize on the bottom, adding another dimension of flavor. If you enjoy that crispy, slightly charred flavor, consider grilling the eggplant instead of roasting it.
Once you remove the eggplant from the oven and scoop the flesh out of the skin, use a potato masher to mash it. At this point, the most crucial piece of the puzzle is to drain the mashed eggplant. Allow plenty of time for this because eggplant retains a lot of water. When it comes time to blend the ingredients, don’t go overboard. If you over-process the dip, it will be too smooth and creamy. This dip should retain some chunks, but you can have it completely smooth if that’s your vibe. As always, keep experimenting with this because you will only get better as time goes on.
- Prep Time:20m
- Cook Time:40m
- Total Time:1h
- 2 eggplants (medium to large size)
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 c tahini
- 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- Preheat your oven to 400º F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and drizzle with two tablespoons of the olive oil. Place the eggplants cut-side down on the parchment paper and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until tender and browned.
- Remove the eggplants from the oven and allow them to cool for about 10 minutes before scooping out the flesh and discarding the skin.
- Place the flesh into a mesh strainer and allow it to rest for about 15-20 minutes, pressing the eggplant every so often to drain excess liquid.
- Add the strained eggplant to a food processor with the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil and the rest of the ingredients. Pulse until combined, but make sure that the mixture retains some chunky texture.
- Serve the baba ganoush with a drizzle of olive oil, some optional chopped parsley, and a little paprika. Enjoy!