Baba ghanoush is a Middle Eastern eggplant dip that is made with roasted or charred eggplants, tahini, lemon juice and some simple herbs and spices such as cumin, parsley and paprika or chili powder. The variations are endless but the basic recipe is similar to hummus only you use roasted eggplant instead of boiled chickpeas. It can be drizzled with tahini and pomegranate molasses and garnished with fresh parsley, or even pomegranate arils. In Israel they sometimes add mayonnaise to the baba ghanoush to make it creamier and call it eggplant salad or “salat hatzilim.”
I have seen baba ghanoush called “paleo hummus” more times than I can count. A quick google and you will see that “hummus” translates as C-H-I-C-K-P-E-A-S. So . . . when you say chickpea free chickpeas it makes no sense, it’s not hummus, or faux hummus, it’s Baba Ghanoush. This eggplant spread is a fantastic example of Arabic food that might seem quite understated but if prepared well, it is truly fantastic.
This dip or spread is great served warm or at room temperature with pita, sourdough or your favorite grilled meats. It can be used for a mezze or appetizer spread with vegetables and pita for dipping. It is a much subtler dish than hummus, it isn’t quite as heavy and it’s flavor is much more mellow. When it is served with fragrant fresh herbs like parsley and mint it can really stand out. Unlike hummus, this can not really be frozen. It is absolutely best made fresh and that is why this recipe is somewhat small compared to others. I roast one eggplant at a time for this because 2-3 cups of this spread is plenty for us. Much like other simple recipes this recipe will take some tweaking “to your taste.” Not all eggplants are the same size. Additionally when purchasing Tahini keep in mind that Middle Eastern Tahina I have found to be thinner and less concentrated than organic Tahini.
- 1 Eggplant, Roasted
- 1-2 Garlic Cloves (to taste)
- 3 Tablespoons Tahini
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1/4 Teaspoon Cumin
- Celtic Sea Salt to taste
-Scoop the soft roasted eggplant out of the skin and into a blender or food processor. Combine everything else and blend until silky and smooth. Serve warm with your favorite grilled meat or mezze.
Roast eggplants: Cut one medium large eggplant in half lengthwise. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake face down on a baking tray at 400°F until softened. (this can also be charred on a grill or broiled)