Baba Ghanoush (Eggplant Dip)

Three Types of Eggplant

Three Types of Eggplant

by Cat, July 2008 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

See also: Eggplant Parmigiana; Hummus (Garbanzo Dip)Taratour SauceBissara (Fava Bean Dip)Pan-Roasted Chicken Breasts with Baba Ghanoush

Links to my old site: Middle-Eastern Meza

I first had this wonderful dip at a Lebanese restaurant in Portland, called Al Amir. It was served as part of a Meza, which is a grouping of appetizers to make a meal – a Middle Eastern Smorgasbord (but with distinctly different flavors than a Danish Smorgasbord).

Baba Ghanoush (Baba Ghanouj)

Dede Med (1) has a great YouTube video on how to make this delicious dish, similar to hummus, but made with eggplant instead of garbanzos.  The recipe I present here is an adaptation of her recipe, and of one in The Vegetarian Epicure Book Two, by Anna Thomas (2).

Taratour Sauce is a tangy sesame tahini (sesame butter); lemon juice and garlic add the tanginess.  Or you can use plain sesame tahini and increase the amount of garlic and lemon juice in the Baba Ghanoush.  I prefer the lesser amount of Taratour (or tahini), so I can taste the eggplant.

Ingredients:

Baba Ghanoush

  • 1 medium eggplant (1 lb)
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp Unrefined sea salt, or more to taste
  • 4 Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 – 4 Tbsp Taratour Sauce or plain sesame tahini

Garnish

  • extra virgin olive oil
  • paprika
  • chopped flat leaf parsley or cilantro leaves

Equipment

  • plastic bag
  • bowl
  • mortar and pestle
  • fork or blender
  • shallow serving plate
  • wooden spoon

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 4000 F.
  2. Place whole eggplant directly on rack in oven (don’t use foil or a pan–the eggplant would get soggy; but you can cover bottom of oven with foil).  Roast for one hour.
  3. Remove from oven and place in plastic bag (or wrap in waxed paper); close bag and let rest on counter about 20 minutes.  Don’t let it rest too long or it will be more difficult to peel.
  4. Remove peel from eggplant (simply pull it off), and discard.  Place eggplant pulp, with seeds, in a bowl and break up with a knife.
  5. Mince  garlic, sprinkle salt over, and mash with side of wide knife blade.  Add to eggplant, along with lemon juice and Taratour sauce. NOTE: If using tahini instead of Taratour sauce, increase lemon juice to 5 – 6 Tbsp, and garlic to 3 cloves.
  6. If you want texture to your baba ghanoush blend with a fork, breaking up stubborn chunks with pestle; if you want it smooth, use a blender.  Adjust seasoning.

How to Serve, with Garnish

  1. Scoop onto a plate.  Using the back side of a wooden spoon, and working in a circular motion around the plate, spread the baba ghanoush.  This motion creates a circular ditch in the baba ghanoush around a mound in the center of the plate.
  2. Pile chopped parsley or cilantro on the center mound.  Sprinkle paprika around the outer ridge.  Pour olive oil into the ditch.
  3. Serve chilled, or at room temperature, with pita or crackers.

References:

  1. DedeMed recipe & video: dedemed.com/mediterranean/baba-ganoush-recipe
  2. The Vegetarian Epicure Book Two, by Anna Thomas

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