Authentic Traditional Baba Ghanoush

Just in time to include a little Mediterranean flare to your Thanksgiving table.  Baba Ghanoush is not only refreshing and healthy it’s a delicious way to add some new  flavors to the “same ole” Thanksgiving palette.  Perfect as an appetizer or snuggled up nicely beside some juicy turkey and gravy.  These fall flavors seem to match up perfectly.

When I was a little girl this dish was not one of my favorites.   I couldn’t understand how anyone would want to eat an “egg” plant.   When I realized it had nothing to do with eggs I opened my mind a little and now it’s one of my favorite vegetables. Eggplant is much more user friendly than most people give it credit for.  I especially love its smoky flavor in this dish.

The ingredients are almost identical to hummus except, of course, the most important element… eggplant.  Baba Ganoush is actually less calorie dense than hummus. A cup of eggplant only has 35 calories while a cup of chickpeas has 285.   Whaaat????   So you can indulge a little more.   The traditional topping of pomegranates add a lovely unexpected freshness to the warm smoky eggplant and not to mention the added nutritional impact.  So worth the effort of having to peel the pomegranates.

2 Cups eggplant

1 Cup tahini

½ Cup lemon juice

3 Cloves garlic grated with a micro plan or smashed with a mortar and pestle

1 ½ Teaspoon salt

Generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Pomegranate seeds optional

Aubergine

Start with three nice sized eggplants.  Let me just say color makes a difference here.

The dark purple aubergines are the ones you want to use for this recipe.  I enjoy all species but the lighter ones don’t hold up to this type of roasting.

 

 

Score each vegetable with a fork three or four times and place them on a hot grill.  Let them roast for at least 45 minutes.

 

 

Once good and charred on both sides remove the eggplant and scoop out the creamy pale innards

Add the eggplant, garlic and tahini together and blend with a hand blender or electric blender.  Add lemon, salt and blend.

Plate it by smoothing it out on a nice Milani Platter. 🙂

Give it a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a generous topping of Pomegranate seeds and that’s it!  So easy.  Right?  Let me know what you think!

Sahtain!!

 

 

 

4 comments
  1. That is absolutely beautiful! I love, love, love eggplant – and can’t wait to try this. Thanks, Tammy!

    1. Hi. Wish I had seen your blog before I made some baba gansuoh last night! It turned out ok, but it is slightly more bitter than I would like, and I didn’t achieve the smokiness I wanted. I baked 2 whole eggplants on the oven grate (about 2 pounds each) at 400 degrees for a bit over an hour (too long? I wanted to make sure they were fully cooked after 40 minutes they didnt seem shrunken enough from the eye test, but they were fairly soft). After that put them in a plastic bag for 15 minutes. I peeled them & noticed the pulp was very green, not at all a mix of the golden & golden brown I expected, and the seeds were also dark in color, but not what I would characterize as burnt . I am wondering if that is a sign the eggplants were too mature? There are so many differing opinions out there about everything you need to know about picking & cooking eggplants & baba gansuoh that it can be a little confusing. No one elsewhere mentions Choose smaller, younger eggplants for roasting . In fact, some say just the opposite, but your explanation makes sense to me. How do you tell if an eggplant is young? How small is smaller? Is it strictly about the size, or is it about the variety? I also made the Tahini from scratch. From what I understand if its not right it can be the cause of bitterness, but I was very careful not to overtoast it (2-3 minutes on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven), used hulled seeds, & got it peanut-butter smooth. What is you think? Thank goodness I finally found your blog after searching in vain for confirmation on broiling/charring technique with an electric oven, which is the method I will definitely use next time, along with your other hints. BTW, is 4 from the broiling element about right?

      1. Hi Petrica,
        You are so right. There are so many different opinions about eggplants. It really does depend on what you are making. If I’m making anything other than baba ganoush I always look for the smallest eggplant assuming they would have the smallest seeds and a denser flesh. I love the long Japanese variety. But, for baba ganoush I usually pick the medium size aubergine, like the ones pictured, and really the only requirement for me is that they are dark purple. The skin needs to be thick enough to withstand long roasting times. Sometimes you need over an hour to get them nice and charred and sometimes no matter what size or color you pick it’s bitter. It’s just the luck of the draw. My aunt says to drain off the juices after it’s roasted and you cut it open. I find it really doesn’t help. If it’s bitter it’s bitter. The good news is you can add a little more tahini, lemon and salt to mask it. Another reason they could have been a little bitter is your peeling method. There is no need to put roasted eggplant in a bag before you peel them. You should really be scooping out the flesh from the hard roasted skin rather than actually peeling. Does that make since? Just slit it open with a knife, as pictured, and scoop out.

        Unfortunately it’s pretty hard to get that smoky taste in an electric oven. A grill is the easiest way to achieve that. I have relatives that roast them over an open fire on the eye of a gas range if a grill is not available, but that is very time consuming and unnecessary if you have a grill. Is there a reason you want to use an electric oven?

        Wow! You made your own tahini! I applaud your efforts, a woman after my own heart. I’ve never done that so I couldn’t give you an educated opinion about it. My only advice would be to buy some tahini and taste the difference. It’s the only way to really know. Middle eastern specialty shops carry some really good ones. They’ve been doing it for centuries. If you don’t have shops like that in your area you can find a couple of varieties is most grocery stores. Always choose tahini in a jar. The one that comes in a can is awful. I hope this helped. Please let me know if you have more questions. Always a pleasure.

  2. almost as beautiful as
    you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *