Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghanouj)

Updated, from the recipe archive. Originally posted in 2005.

Here in the San Joaquin Valley, the eggplant season is in full swing. At our local farmers market last weekend one could find eggplants of every variety – globe, Japanese, striped, white, even eggplants that looked like tomatoes. I have a couple still on the vine, after picking the one used for this recipe that was just begging to be eaten. Here is a wonderful recipe for baba ghanouj (also spelled baba ghanoush) a middle eastern eggplant dip. It is typically served with pita bread.

Eggplant Dip (Baba Ghanouj) Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4-8 as an appetizer

You can use a food processor to make baba ghanouj, but take care not to make it too smooth; this is supposed to be a rustic, slightly chunky dip.

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Ingredients

  • 1-2 globe eggplants (totaling 2 lbs)
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 Tbsp roasted tahini (sesame paste)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (more or less depending on how garlicky you want your baba ghanouj to be), finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Juice of one lemon - about 2 1/2 tablespoons
  • Salt and cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley

Method

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1a Oven method Preheat oven to 400°F. Poke the eggplants in several places with the tines of a fork. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and brush the cut sides lightly with olive oil (about 1 Tbsp). Place on a baking sheet, cut side down, and roast until very tender, about 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

1b Grilling method Preheat grill. Poke the eggplants in a few places with a fork, then rub the eggplants with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Grill over high heat, turning as each side blackens. Put the charred eggplants in a paper bag, close the bag and let the eggplants steam in their skins for 15-20 minutes.

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2 Scoop the eggplant flesh into a large bowl and mash well with a fork. Combine the eggplant, minced garlic, remaining olive oil (about 2 Tbsp), tahini, cumin, 2 Tbsp of the lemon juice, the salt, and a pinch of cayenne. Mash well. You want the mixture to be somewhat smooth but still retaining some of the eggplant's texture.

3 Allow the baba ghanouj to cool to room temperature, then season to taste with additional lemon juice, salt, and cayenne. If you want, swirl a little olive oil on the top. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.

Serve with pita bread, crackers, toast, sliced baguette, celery, or cucumber slices.

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Links:

Iraqi Style Baba Ghanouj - from The Passionate Cook

Egyptian Baba Ghanouj - from Curiosity Killed the Cook

Baba Ghanouj Pizza - from Dejamo's Distracted

Eggplant Dip Baba Ghanouj

Showing 4 of 49 Comments

  • Rosie R

    This eggplant dip is delicious, I strongly recommend it! Thanks very much.

  • Donna

    I have been craving the eggplant dip after eating it in Kostas. This recipe hit the spot. Excellent! (and easy to use recipe for those of us who are not chefs :o)

  • patty

    Hi, I newly discovered this site and I find the comments very interesting. I am of Lebanese origins and I like to add how baba ganouj is mixed. The blender overmixes and looses some of the flavors so instead you can use just a wooden spoon or like mom uses the pestle and just mash and stir the eggplant after mixing the tahini with the lemon juice and 3 Tablespoons cold water together and form a soft paste, I omit the cummin and the smashed garlic, make sure you have good quality sesame paste it makes a difference. Top if off with extra virgin olive oil and enjoy!

  • Tea

    I love baba Ghanouj. I love the ease of this recipe. Thank you!

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