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Baba Ghanoush

Baba Ghanoush

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Using a fork, prick the eggplant 6-8 times. (This will keep the eggplant from exploding when it cooks.) Place the eggplant on the grill to char the skin, turning 2-3 times, for about 10-15 minutes. When the skin starts to easily peel away, it is charred well.

Using tongs, transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet and finish cooking in the oven until very soft, 15-20 minutes. (To test doneness, stick a bamboo skewer into the center of the widest part of the eggplant and if it easily slides in without resistance, it is cooked through.) Remove from the oven and let sit at room temperature until cool enough to handle. Peel away the skin and discard.

Cut the peeled eggplant into pieces to fit into a food processor or blender. Add the garlic, tahini, lemon juice, cumin, and salt, and blend until smooth. Scrape into a shallow serving bowl and using a spoon, make a well in center. Drizzle the olive oil on top and in the well. Top with the parsley and serve with warm pita wedges or veggies.


Recipe Summary

  • 3 1/2 pounds eggplants (about 4 medium eggplants), pierced all over
  • 2 medium onions, unpeeled
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Grilled country bread, for serving

Light a hardwood charcoal fire. When the coals are hot, create a bed of embers and set the eggplants and onions directly on it. Cook, turning occasionally, until the eggplants and onions are tender but not falling apart, about 15 minutes for the eggplants and 25 minutes for the onions. Transfer the vegetables to a baking sheet to cool, brushing off any embers.

Meanwhile, in a medium cast-iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the pine nuts and toast over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the rosemary and thyme to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until fragrant and just crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer the herbs to another plate and let cool. Coarsely chop the herbs.

Slit open each eggplant and scoop the flesh into a food processor discard the skins. Peel and quarter the onions and add to the processor discard the skins. Add the pine nuts to the processor and puree until smooth.

Wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in it. Add the baba ghanoush and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until thickened, 6 minutes. Scrape into a serving bowl and let cool slightly. Stir in the garlic, lemon juice and chopped herbs season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and serve warm with grilled country bread.


If Using a Grill (recommended): Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium heat and place eggplants directly over heat source. Cook, turning occasionally with tongs, until eggplants are completely tender and well charred on all sides, 30 to 40 minutes. Wrap with foil and let rest 15 minutes. Continue to step 3.

If Using the Broiler: Adjust rack to 6 inches below broiler element and preheat broiler to high. Place eggplants on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and prick all over with a fork. Broil, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides and completely tender, about 30 minutes (timing may vary depending on broiler strength). Eggplants should be very, very tender when cooked if eggplant is not fully tender once skin is charred all over, switch oven to 425°F and roast until fully tender (a toothpick or skewer inserted near the stem and bottom ends should not meet any resistance). Remove from oven and gather up foil, crimping it around the eggplants to form a sealed package. Let the eggplants rest for 15 minutes. Continue to step 3.

Open foil package. Working with one eggplant at a time, use a sharp paring knife to slit each eggplant open lengthwise. Carefully scoop out soft flesh with a large spoon and transfer to a strainer set in a large bowl. Once all eggplant is scooped, pick out any stray bits of skin and blackened flesh and discard.

Transfer eggplant to a salad spinner, distributing it evenly around the perimeter. Spin gently until all excess moisture is extracted. Discard all drippings, wipe out large bowl, and return eggplant to bowl.

Add garlic and lemon juice to eggplant and stir vigorously with a fork until eggplant breaks down into a rough paste, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stirring constantly and vigorously, add tahini, followed by the olive oil in a thin, steady stream. The mixture should become pale and creamy. Stir in parsley and season to taste with salt, plus more lemon juice if desired.

Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and serve with warm pita bread or vegetables for dipping. Baba ganoush can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Let baba ganoush warm to room temperature before serving.


How to Make Baba Ganoush

To make Baba Ganoush you first place whole eggplants on a baking tray.

Then poke each eggplant three times with a fork to break the skin.

This is to make sure your eggplant doesn’t explode during the cooking process.

Bake the eggplant in a high heated oven for one hour, or until they are thoroughly cooked.

After cooking scoop out the insides of the eggplants, then place in a bowl and discard the skins.

Use a potato masher or similar utensil to mash up the eggplant completely, or use a food processor or blender.

Add onions, tomatoes, salt, garlic, lemon juice, and tahini then stir until completely mixed with a rough consistency.

Some recipes call for roasted garlic, smoked paprika or even the addition of some yogurt.

Place on a plate, garnish with chopped fresh parsley, top with extra virgin olive oil.

Serve the Baba Ganoush with pita bread, pita chips, crostini or crusty French bread .

One wonderful thing about Baba Ganoush is how forgiving it is to make.

You can make it exactly how you like it.

Like a bit more garlic or tahini, or less of any ingredient?

Go for it, make it just how you like to eat it.

If you like it a bit spicy , add a chopped up hot pepper and stir.


Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant*
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil (for roasting)
  • 2-3 Tbsp lemon juice (1 medium lemon yields

Instructions

Video

Notes

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

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Baba ganoush recipe

Made with affordable Arabic ingredients and popular across the Middle East, the humble appearance of baba ganoush belies its deliciousness. There are three golden rules to making it well: char the aubergines over an open flame drain the flesh and balance your flavours with care. Here's more information on the history of baba ganoush.

Ingredients

  • 3 large aubergines
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • 1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
  • 3 large aubergines
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • 1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
  • 3 large aubergines
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • 1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
  • 5 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch za'atar
  • 0 flatbread
  • 0.2 fl oz extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch za'atar
  • 0 flatbread
  • 0 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch za'atar
  • 0 flatbread

Details

  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern
  • Recipe Type: Side
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Preparation Time: 30 mins
  • Cooking Time: 0 mins
  • Serves: 4

Step-by-step

  1. With a fork or prong, pierce the top of each aubergine at the head. Hold them over as big an open flame as (safely) possible and let them blacken all over. This should take about ten minutes, and the aubergines will be left looking charred, flaky and soft.
  2. Peel the black skins from the flesh and discard. You will be left with little bit of black skin, but try to keep that to a minimum. Now, with a knife and fork or - even better - a potato masher, break the flesh apart. Importantly, don't put it in a blender. Baba ganoush needs to maintain some of the aubergines' texture and fleshy consistency.
  3. Next, leave the skinned flesh in a sieve over the sink for 5-10 minutes so excess liquid from the cooked aubergines will drain off.
  4. Put the flesh into a bowl and mix in the tahini, yoghurt, lemon and garlic. Some recipes don't use yoghurt, but I personally prefer to balance out the sesame strength of tahini with some light creaminess. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Lastly, drizzle a little of your best extra virgin olive oil on top so that it makes little wells between lumps of aubergine. Sprinkle with za'atar mix and enjoy with good quality fresh flatbread.

More Middle Eastern treats

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What to use for dipping baba ganoush

What to serve with baba ganoush? There are many foods you can use for dipping: but we have a few favorites. Then of course, there’s how to accessorize your spread! The book has this recipe as part of a Falafel Mezze Spread that includes a few items below. Here’s what to try:

  • Pita bread: Doughy, stretchy warm pita bread is the ultimate dipper (try our flatbread)
  • Pita chips: Or, use the crunchy version (here’s a homemade recipe)
  • Falafel: Try our falafel or the falafel patties recipe from the book
  • Israeli couscous with herbs and olive oil (see the book)
  • Greek yogurt mixed with olive oil and fresh herbs (see the book)
  • Vegetables: Cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, red onion, roasted red peppers

Baba Ghanoush

Note: the written recipe has been improved since the video was originally made: now it’s easier and cleaner.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium-sized eggplants
  • ½ cup of raw tahini
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced (cut very, very small)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper (optional), to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for garnish
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish

Preparation

1. With a fork, prick a couple holes in the eggplants. Wrap each eggplant in two layers of aluminum foil. Place them directly on a stovetop flame on medium heat for about twenty minutes, rotating every 5 minutes, until they smell very smoky. Or, you can use a grill and skip the foil.

2. Allow the eggplants to cool.

3. Over the sink, unwrap the foil and place the eggplants in a strainer. Peel off the skin with your hands and sliced the eggplants in half. Some liquid will drain out into the sink. Remove the seeds (optional- sometimes the seeds are bitter).

4. Place the eggplant in a bowl. Add raw tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt.

5. Mash with a fork. If it’s too liquidy, add more tahini. Taste and adjust lemon and salt to taste.


    1. 1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rub the outside of the eggplants with olive oil and place them in a roasting plan. Roast the eggplant until the skin has charred and the interior is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool.
    2. 2. Peel and seed the cooled eggplant, roughly chop the flesh, and then transfer it to the bowl of a food processor.
    3. 3. Into the processor bowl add the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, some salt and pepper to taste, and a few teaspoons of cold water. Process the mixture to a coarse paste, adding a bit more water as needed to allow the mixture to blend.
    4. 4. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

    This turned out great! We have excess eggplant this year due to a high volume of volunteers that popped up. I did make my husband get the seeds out, as it was his crop. I also added the smoked paprika as suggested by another reviewer.

    This is a great recipe. Tastes great and easy to make.

    Great, simple and authentic recipe. If the eggplants are ripe and good quality I do not peel the charred skin off as the skin gives a roasted flavor. The only seeds I remove are those that are clumped together in the membrane. You can add to this recipe with spices etc and I even drizzled some Sriracha into the mixture before processing which provides a little heat to the sesame paste garlic and fresh lemon juice.

    I've been loving baba ganoush for years and making different recipes. I just came upon this one because one of my eggplants was bad, so I couldn't make my usual recipe. It's quick, simple, and quite tasty. I don't love tahini, so I put in less. I used the big eggplants and had no issue with the seeds in the blender. I will be happy to try it in eggplant season with different eggplants.

    I've been making this recipe for the past several years and continue to tweak it. I happen to love the texture of the charred skin and seeds so include them in the mixture. I do allow it to rest overnight in the fridge before eating it so the skin softens. Also, I occasionally add a very small of liquid smoke to bump up the smokey flavor. I highly recommend this recipe as is or slightly tweaked.

    I've made this several times, using up surplus Japanese Eggplants from my garden. These eggplants are so superb, there is no need to remove the seeds. They are not bitter like their larger cousins, so I would highly recommend them. This is an easy recipe you can use a free hand with in seasoning. Just yum!

    Adding a bit of sugar improves the recipe. About a teaspoon per eggplant.

    Great! We loved it.& so simple

    In reference to my comment below, I sieved the seed-holding parts of the eggplant flesh by putting in a largish mesh sieve, placing on top of a clean bowl, and basically pressing through with the back of a large spoon, "stirring" and pressing through again. When I was finished there were pretty much just seeds in the sieve. I scraped the strained eggplant off of the back of the sieve with a rubber spatula.

    This was a good, basic recipe for using up garden surplus! The only significant change I made was to get rid of the seeds, which I assume would make the whole thing bitter as well as make the texture gritty and. ahem. seedy. This was easily accomplished by pressing the seed-holding, gloppy parts (about 1/2 the total flesh, which would be a shame to waste) through a mesh sieve. I got a good amount (more than a cup) of what looked like applesauce. Mixed with the finely minced flesh of the eggplant, I got the exact texture I was looking for. Nice recipe don't be afraid of salting generously.

    No need to add in smoky taste with paprika-- just roast the eggplant on the stovetop instead of in the oven. Turn your burner to medium low, plop the eggplant right on top, and turn every few minutes until the skin is completely charred and the eggplant itself is soft. Allow it to cool, then peel the blistered skin. The longer the skin stays in contact with the flesh, the stronger the smoky taste will be.

    I thought this recipe was fantastic! I had some extra eggplants in the garden so I tried to replicate my favorite middle eastern restaurant side - I roast eggplants for 50 min at 400 - other than that followed recipe exactly. I also did not scrape out all of the seeds - it was just too hard - and it did not affect the taste in the least! Very easy.

    very good. i scraped out the seeds and tossed as numerous other recipes say to do this. i used tahini sauce from trader joe's rather than the tahini you find in the can at the gro. all quite good. i tossed in a shake of cayenne to kick it up.

    Tasty, but it is missing the traditional smokiness. To rectify the situation, sprinkle with smoked paprika & drizzle with olive oil to serve.

    Eggplant should be pierced first and then roasted for one hour @ 400 F

    After baking eggplant, scoop pulp and seeds and drain in a colander. It removes any bitterness and excess juice. If 'tahini' is unavailable, Hellman's Olive Oil Mayonnaise is the perfect substitute.

    After baking eggplant, scoop out and drain in colander for 10 minutes. Then proceed. If 'tahini' is unavailable, Hellman's Olive Oil Mayonaise is perfect substitute.

    Delicious! My first attempt at homemade Baba Ghanoush and it was perfect. I followed the recipe exactly and will definitely make it time and again.

    I had attempted Baba Ghanoush many times before, and had never been able to get a good balance of garlic/lemon/olive oil. This recipe is perfect. Just like the other review, I did not add any water. This is incredibly simple, I've done it several times now, and def many more to come.

    I thought this turned out really well. I did not bother to seed the eggplant. Also, I drained the eggplant after roasting and still found that it did not need any water at all. If I had added any, I think it would have been too thin. I will definitely save this recipe and make again.


    Other Ingredients in Baba Ghanoush:

    Garlic is another flavor element to a good baba ghanoush. Most recipes use raw garlic, giving the dip a sharp pungent flavor. I like using a mix of garlic, both raw and roasted, to give more depth and flavor in the finished recipe. Another way to drop the garlic strength is to grate it and mix it with the lemon juice, allowing it to sit for 15 – 30 minutes. This time allows the acid in the lemon to cook the garlic, like a ceviche, mellowing the garlic’s heat and intensity.

    A touch of heat and flavor from peppers usually dried adds a nice balance to the silky texture in this recipe. Some people like a hotter spice level and use cayenne pepper, others like Aleppo pepper or chili pepper flakes. There is also paprika, Hungarian that comes in a sweet or spicy variation or the same chili pepper that is smoked. Using smoked paprika is another way to add smokiness to the dip if you don’t have a smoker, live-fire grill, or access to a smoked beer. To also add a comforting earthy element, cumin seed is ground and mixed in, bringing that hint of desert flavor with it.

    Salt helps enhance the flavor and acts as a counterbalance to help drop the bitterness that is inherent within eggplant. Another way to add salt is by using an Asian ingredient, that is not traditional to the Middle East, yet adds extra savory notes to the baba ghanoush recipe is miso. This Japanese paste is usually made from soybeans, koji and salt, left to ferment for months to years depending on the type of miso being created. White is the sweetest, being made with a proportion of rice, while red miso has more depth of flavor, usually saltier and richer. Some miso makers use different beans | legumes, like garbanzo beans, that would also be a wonderful addition, to this recipe.

    Tahini is another critical ingredient used in making baba ghanoush. Tahini is a sesame seed paste or seed butter, made from white sesame seeds. It’s available at most grocery stores or in Middle Eastern specialty shops. Yet unless you use it and find freshly ground versions, I have found many brands to be almost rancid when just opened. So, with this recipe, I use sesame seeds and hemp seeds (a high Omega 3 oilseed) that grind together to make fresh seed butter in this recipe.

    Lastly, I use fresh parsley to add texture, flavor, color, and extra nutritional benefits to this dip | spread. This can be left out, yet it adds so much to the final mix of ingredients.

    This eggplant dip is very easy to make. Full of wonderful smoky flavors, it compliments any Middle Eastern meal. Once you make your own baba ghanoush, you’ll wonder why you ever bought it.

    Makes: about 6–7 cups

    Adapted from BeerAdvocate Magazine: Cuisine à la Bière | Jul 2013 | Issue #78