Hearty Baba Ghanoush
This appetizer is perfect with toasted pita bread and so easy to make!
The Best Dip If you’ve never tried baba ghanoush, you’re missing out. While nearly everyone has tried hummus, baba ghanoush has been vastly overlooked. In reality, the two dips are very similar. You may just like baba ghanoush more than hummus!
Baba ghanoush is easy to make and doesn’t require a trip to a speciality store. All you need is one eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and a few seasonings! Then, you’ll have a dip to serve up with vegetables and pita bread. You can even use it as a spread on a sandwich!
The History Behind the Appetizer
This Middle Eastern dip is made with eggplant, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and salt. It dates back to Lebanon, and some say it’s been around since the 13th century. Like most recipes, it’s varied over time; however, the main ingredient has stayed the same.
The eggplant is the key to this dip, and is often roasted or broiled. It’s then peeled so the pulp is soft and has a smoky taste to it. After the eggplant is peeled, it’s then combined with tahini and lemon juice. You can also add a splash of olive oil to make it creamier, but the origins of this recipe didn’t call for any oils. Once that was combined into a smooth spread, salt and other seasonings are added. The other seasonings include cumin and paprika, but parsley can also be added.
How this Recipe Differs
You may notice from the pictures that this dip doesn’t look perfectly smooth. It’s custom that eggplant skin is removed after cooking it. Nowadays, most people peel their eggplant before cooking it to make it easier. However, we’re going to leave the skin on the eggplant for this recipe. While this is an easy substitute to make if you don’t like the skin, I find I like baba ghanoush best when it’s a little heartier and has eggplant chunks.
Time to Dive into the Dip
First thing’s first, the eggplant. Wash the eggplant, then dice into bite-sized pieces. Keep the skin on, unless you want a smoother consistency to your dip. If so, then peel the eggplant before you dice it. Add the diced eggplant to a lined baking sheet and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then, roast the eggplant for 25 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the eggplant is cooked, allow it to cool for five minutes.
Place the cooked eggplant into a food processor with olive oil and tahini. Pulse for one minute, then use a spatula to scrape down the edges. Add lemon juice, chopped parsley, garlic cloves, lemon zest, cumin and paprika. Then, pulse again on high for one to two minutes until combined.
Make sure you taste test the dip as you go. This recipe leans into the lemon and while it doesn’t overpower the dish, if you don’t like a lot of lemon then you may want to forgo the lemon zest. You can also add a bit more cumin or paprika depending on your taste buds. Finally, if you want to give this dip a kick, finish it with red pepper flakes.
Just one bite will have you hooked!
Add your favorite veggies and pita bread to serve alongside this yummy dip!
Hearty Baba Ghanoush
- 1 eggplant, diced
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- A pinch of smoked paprika
- Gluten-free pita bread, for serving
- Vegetables, for serving
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Dice the eggplant into bite-size pieces and place on baking sheet
- Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil over the eggplant, then season with salt and pepper
- Roast for 25 minutes, then let cool for 5 minutes
- Add the cooked eggplant to a food processor with the olive oil and tahini
- Pulse for one minute, then use a spatula to scrape down the sides
- Next, add the lemon juice, chopped parsley, garlic cloves, lemon zest, cumin and paprika
- Blend until smooth (1-2 minutes)
- Serve with warm pita bread and vegetables
- If you want a smoother consistency, peel the eggplant before roasting it