Baba Ganoush

I have a confession to make.  I eat a lot of hummus.  The term ‘a lot’ probably doesn’t accurately depict the level of addiction I have to hummus.  I’m embarrassed to admit that there have been weeks where I’ve eaten nothing but hummus for dinner.  And lunch.  I practically buy it in bulk . . . yes, this clearly garners a variety of questioning looks from the grocery store employees when I deplete their entire stock of Tribe garlic hummus.

Perhaps the biggest problem of all is that I don’t see this hummus addiction as a problem!  Hummus is delicious, healthy, contains no weird chemicals or foreign substances and can stay in the fridge for weeks without going bad.  It is a perfect, no-effort required meal!

baba ganoush corner shot

However, there are times when too much hummus is too much hummus.  My boyfriend’s mother recently asked me if I had ever made baba ganoush as an alternative to hummus.  I’ve eaten baba ganoush at various Middle Eastern restaurants but I had never ventured to make it myself.  Her suggestion inspired me to search around the internet for the easiest, tastiest, and most appealing baba ganoush recipe.  Success!

cut open lemon

This is a terribly simple recipe that is easily adapted to your personal taste preference.  Unlike chickpeas, however, eggplant has a distinct, fairly strong flavor that isn’t easily overpowered by seasonings like garlic, lemon, and salt.  You will taste the eggplant, trust me.  The hardest part, if you want to call it that, is peeling the eggplant after it has roasted.  The recipe said to scrape the insides out of the roasted eggplant, but I found it easier to peel the skin off.

charred eggplant

Essentially, you just need to throw all the ingredients in a food processor or a blender and let it whirl until smooth.  Feel free to add more spices if like it spicy.  This is a recipe that begs to be played with!  While I doubt that this will replace my hummus addiction, it’s a really delicious alternative.

baba ganoush from below

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Baba Ganoush

Ingredients-

3 medium-sized eggplants
1/2 cup tahini (roasted sesame paste)
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/8 teaspoon chile powder
a pinch or two of cummin
1 tablespoon olive oil
a half bunch picked flat-leaf parsley or cilantro leaves

Directions-

- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Prick each eggplant a few times, then char the outside of the eggplants by placing them directly on the flame of a gas burner and as the skin chars, turn them until the eggplants are uniformly-charred on the outside. (If you don't have a gas stove, you can char them under the broiler. If not, skip to the next step.)
- Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until they're completely soft; you should be able to easily poke a paring knife into them and meet no resistance.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Split the eggplant and scrape out the pulp. Puree the pulp in a blender or food processor with the other ingredients until smooth.
- Taste, and season with additional salt and lemon juice, if necessary. Chill for a few hours before serving. Serve with crackers, veggies or toasted pita chips.

* Baba Ganoush can be made and refrigerated for up to five days prior to serving.

Adapted from David Lebovitz

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9 Responses to “Baba Ganoush”

  1. 1
    Mary Lynne — February 18, 2009 6:48 pm

    Sounds super simple and I’m looking forward to trying this as an option to hummus! I like the fact that I already have most the ingredients in my kitchen.

  2. 2
    Rox — June 5, 2009 11:49 am

    i too have a addition i will put hummus on my fruit,eat out of the container i always bring it to party’s everyone expects me too now your baba ganoush looks great i do make my own but I’m fortune it to a a middle eastern market about a mile away from home everything always fresh in there huge deli they even make fresh whole wheat pita’s in there pizza ovens yumm….Rox

  3. 3
    mehmet — June 9, 2009 2:50 am

    normally, of course, the egglants should be softened by flameless oak coal ember. heating directly with gas flame can be easy but ? do not recommend.
    and ? should say, we turks eat babagannu? near rak? (as meze) and also served under kebap.

  4. 4
    Adelle — June 27, 2009 2:18 pm

    okay, I got me a couple of eggplants. gonna make this recipe and serve with a kabob, like Mehmet suggested…some cucumber and tomato on the side…oh yum!

  5. 5
    shane — July 19, 2009 3:16 am

    Oh My God this is so the best babaganosh recipe, many require you to get rid of the moisture not necessary, It is so lushish and healthy, remeber that you need to majke sure that you dont blend for very long so you can retain some tecture, loved it.

  6. 6
    Rob — February 16, 2010 12:14 am

    Heh heh you should know that if you live exclusively on chick peas, you will develop a rare neurological disorder, according to my mother who knows many such esoteric facts. Don’t know if the addition of tahini mitigates…. so recommend substituting this recipe more often.

    • kate replied: — February 21st, 2010 7:40 pm

      Rob — Thanks so much for the heads up! Good to know.

  7. 7
    Gunnie — May 16, 2010 1:24 pm

    Got this saved to try later. How come you don’t make your own hummus? It’s so easy! http://www.newleafcoop.com/recipes/recipe.php?id=74

  8. 8
    Mira — February 22, 2012 11:42 pm

    How in the world do you get your baba so light-colored? I always see it like this in pictures but mine always comes out this ugly color (and I do peel the eggplants).

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