Monday, May 13, 2013

Baba Ghanoush (Roasted Eggplant Dip)

baba ghanoush

While I love hummus, I'm increasing also a fan of another mezze dip. Baba ghanoush is roasted eggplant dip that originated in the eastern part of the Mediterranean (the Levant). It's smoky flavor is one of its best attributes, and if you have an outdoor grill, roasting the eggplant over charcoal will help impart that flavor. If you make it indoors, like I did, using smoked ingredients like paprika, olive oil and smoked flavor will compensate adequately.

The eggplant roasts for quite a long time at a very high temperature. They are large vegetables after all and you want them to be extremely soft on the inside when you scoop them out. The skin of the eggplant should look darker, turning brown from its purple shade, and get sunken looking.

Like hummus, baba ghanoush can be served with bread or vegetables for dipping. I like to cut pitas into  triangles, brush them with olive oil and sprinkle them with za'atar seasoning before lightly toasting them under a hot broiler.

Baba Ghanoush

2 medium-size eggplants
Olive oil
1/4 cup tahini
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tbsp. smoked olive oil (or regular extra-virgin olive oil)
2 tsp. smoked paprika
Pinch of chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
Toasted pita bread or cut vegetables (for serving)

1. Preheat oven to 500 F. Pierce eggplants all over with a fork and brush or spray lightly with olive oil. Roast until skin has darkened and the eggplant is very soft and sunken looking, about 30-45 minutes. Split eggplants open and scoop out contents. Discard skins.

2. Place eggplant in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add tahini, lemon juice, garlic, smoked olive oil, smoked paprika, chili powder and salt. Turn food processor on and process until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with fresh chopped parsley.


  1. So that's what roasted eggplant looks like? Who knew?

    1. The roasted eggplant is a little bizarre looking. But once its ground up the food processor it looks good.

  2. I like the idea of using a smoked olive oil for this recipe (sounds like a ton of flavor). Just read in F&W about them... had to order a bottle! The Spanish one (blue bottle??) is supposed to be out of this world.

    1. The Castillo de Canena sounds fantastic. I used the Smoked Olive Sonoma oil, which I really good. I've also used it in hummus, Smoky Waldorf Salad and Smoky Trofie with Bacon and Mushrooms.