Smoky goodness fills this earthy Baba Ganoush – Fire Roasted Eggplant Dip.
Baba Ganoush also spelled baba ghanouj is traditionally a Middle Eastern dip made of fire-roasted eggplants (aubergines) with the addition of sesame tahini and lemon juice.
For me, baba ganoush is one of those favorite dips or spreads like hummus. It’s delicious with oven baked pita chips, or seasoned Lavash bread that’s toasted in the oven. It’s also great with veggie sticks like carrots, colorful bell peppers and cucumbers and on crackers.
Recently I was watching a PBS series called “Mind of a Chef”. Specifically, I watched the program about a restaurant in NYC called PRUNE and the chef/owner Gabrielle Hamilton. She fascinated me with how she charred eggplant over a gas burner to make a smoky eggplant dip. So I was inspired to try it.
Those smoky juices
I’ve had and made baba ganoush before where the eggplant was just baked in the oven prior to making the dip. It didn’t include that smoky charred flavor that you get from the burner or grill charring of the outside skin.
When the skin of the eggplant is charred and the eggplant is allowed to cool, it releases juices that are a combination of the cooked eggplant juices and the charred outside skin – lovely smoky juices that add a depth of flavor to your baba ganoush.
It’s definitely a little more time consuming and a bit messier to char the eggplant skin, but I think it’s worth the effort.
How I did it
After charring each eggplant individually over a gas burner, I put my eggplants into a large metal bowl tightly covered with plastic wrap to cool. This is when the juices begin to be released. After they were still slightly warm, I removed the eggplant from the juices and placed them on a parchment lined baking sheet, poked them in several places with a fork and baked them in the oven for about 30 minutes until completely cooked through. I once again placed them in a plastic wrapped covered bowl and they released more juices as they cooled.
When cool enough to handle, I peeled off the charred skin that remained on the eggplants. I then added the cooked eggplant to a food processor with the metal S blade and added the remaining ingredients.
Here is the recipe:
Baba Ganoush - Fire Roasted Eggplant Dip
- 2 medium/large eggplants
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- 4 Tablespoons sesame tahini
- 3 Tablespoons ground sesame seeds
- 4 Tablespoons of the smoky juices released from the charred eggplants
- 6 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Start charring your eggplant over a grill or flame from a gas burner
- Use tongs or a fork (or combination) to turn the eggplant to char all sides
- When sufficiently charred, place both eggplants in a large bowl and cover the top of the bowl tightly with plastic wrap
- As the eggplants cool, juices will be released that have a smoky flavor
- When the eggplants are still slightly warm, remove from the bowl and reserve the juices for the recipe
- Place the eggplants on a parchment lined baking sheet and poke in several places with a fork or the tip of a pointed knife
- Bake in the oven at 375 degrees F until done - about 30 minutes
- Remove the eggplant from the baking sheet and cool on a plate or in a bowl covered with plastic wrap
- When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, remove the outer charred skin and discard
- Place the cooked eggplant in a food processor with the metal S blade and add the other ingredients
- Process until completely combined
- Taste and adjust if necessary
- Put the dip into a container and refrigerate for at least 4-6 hours until the flavors have mingled
- Garnish with fresh chopped parsley
- Enjoy with pita or Lavish bread chips, veggie sticks, crackers, olives, etc.
Inspired by: Gabrielle Hamilton
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