Baba Ghannouj: Middle Eastern Eggplant Dip

Baba ghanoush
Richard Jung/Photolibrary/Getty Images
  • Total: 45 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
108 Calories
6g Fat
13g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 11mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Protein 3g
Calcium 66mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Baba ghannouj is a popular Middle Eastern dip made from eggplant and tahini. It has a smooth, creamy texture, and a slightly smoked taste. The bit of garlic adds another level of flavor and the lemon juice bring a fresh brightness to the dish. Baba ghannouj is traditionally served with pita bread (toasted or fresh); however, many people enjoy it as a chip dip with potato chips or tortilla chips.

Although this recipe calls for baking the eggplant in the oven, the original cooking method for this age-old recipe was over an open flame, which you can emulate by using a charcoal grill. However, oven roasting will certainly do the job as the goal is to have the cooked eggplant be soft on the inside and crisp on the outside.

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (depending on taste)
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • For the Garnish:
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Use a fork to poke some holes in the eggplant skin.

  2. Place eggplant directly on the middle oven rack and roast for 30 minutes, or until the outside is crisp and the inside is soft. Allow it to cool for 20 minutes.

  3. Cut open the eggplant and scoop out the flesh into a colander; allow to drain for 10 minutes. (Removing the excess liquid helps to eliminate a bitter flavor.)

  4. Place the eggplant flesh in a medium bowl. Add the remaining ingredients except for the 1 tablespoon olive oil and mash together until the eggplant becomes paste-like. Alternatively, you can also use a food processor and pulse for about 2 minutes.

  5. Slowly add the olive oil and mix quickly and thoroughly to make sure it emulsifies along with the rest of the ingredients. If using a food processor, turn it on low as you pour the olive oil through the feed tube.

  6. Place the eggplant dip in a serving bowl and top with the garnish of lemon juice and olive oil. Add other garnishes according to taste.

  7. Serve with warm or toasted pita or flatbread. Enjoy!

Garnish Ideas for Baba Ghannouj

Baba ghannouj always has to have olive oil on top for garnish, but you can spice things up a bit by adding crushed red pepper or a dash of cumin. A sprinkling of chopped fresh parsley or cilantro is a nice way to add a bit of color as well as flavor.

Recipe Tips

  • To get the most juice possible out of your lemons, first bring them to room temperature; then roll them on the counter back and forth while applying a little pressure. This will loosen the membranes and free up the juice.
  • Tahini has a tendency to separate as it sits, so give it a good stir to combine the paste with the oil on top before using.

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