I’m going to admit right now that I have never made Baba Ganoush before today so if you have any suggestions or recipe variations, please share!
If you have never heard of Baba Ganoush, today is your lucky day. Baba Ganoush is a roasted eggplant dip that is common in Mediterranean cuisine. If you like hummus, you may very well like Baba Ganoush because it is very similar. So similar, in fact, that I like to describe it as hummus made with roasted eggplant rather than chickpeas or garbanzo beans. It has all of the usual ingredients: tahini (sesame paste, think peanut butter but made with sesame seeds instead of peanuts), lemon juice and garlic. Although I love garlic, the breath that fresh garlic leaves behind can be a little too strong for even me. So, for this recipe, I used roasted garlic instead of fresh. Roasted garlic is still strong and will give you breath but the odor is more like an “8” on a scale of ten rather than “15” like fresh garlic is.
Anyway… it turned out great and I ate a boat load of it today for lunch with some whole wheat pita ($0.21 per pita pocket)! Even though it was a simple appetizer-like lunch, I’m still full over five hours later.
- 2 medium eggplant ($1.92)
- 1/2 bulb roasted garlic ($0.18)
- 1 medium lemon ($0.33)
- 3 Tbsp tahini ($0.54)
- to taste salt ($0.05)
- 1/2 tsp paprika ($0.05)
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place the whole eggplants on a baking sheet and prick all over with a fork (this allows the steam to escape while they roasts. Place the eggplant in the oven and roast for 45 minutes or until the skin is all wrinkled up and the flesh is very soft. You can roast the garlic at the same time if you choose to use roasted as opposed to fresh. Instructions for roasted garlic are here.
- Once the eggplant are done roasting, slice them length wise and scrape the soft flesh into a bowl. Add the garlic, tahini, juice of the lemon, salt and paprika to the eggplant and either mash up with a fork, mortar and pestle or blend in a food processor or blender. Taste the mixture and adjust to your preferences.
- Serve with pita bread cut into triangles and/or vegetable crudites!
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Here is a picture of tahini, if you have never heard of or seen it before. There are many brands and it can be found in major super markets either near the peanut butter or in the ethnic foods section.
This is what your eggplant will look like when they are finished roasting.
Slice them lengthwise and scoop out all of that creamy good flesh! Mix with the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt and paprika.
Serve with pita bread or vegetables. Garnish with parsley or a drizzle of olive oil.
NOTE: For a thicker, richer dip you can add some olive oil while mixing the ingredients. I believe the dip is not usually pureed to a smooth consistency but with my little ‘bitty food processor, it just had to be that way. It was still delicious!