Baba Ganoush is one of those foods I always remember growing up with, but turning my nose up at as a kid. Funny name + eggplant?! No thanks, I’ll stick with my peanut butter crackers, mom. But, being raised in an Armenian household, this is one of those dips that just keeps showing up at the table, so it was only a matter of time until my tastebuds not only came around, but fell in love!
This dip is gloriously creamy, decadent, smoky and addicting! Eggplant haters- it’s time to forget everything you know about this veggie, because all you’re going to taste is pure bliss. Really, I dare you to stop at one bite.
This dip is great served with cucumbers or carrots, but if you really want the full experience, grab a soft and fluffy piece of naan, flatbread or pita, and dive head first into the Baba Ganoush. I mean- do you SEE that silky goodness?!
The best part about this seemingly rich dip, is that eggplant is only about 25 calories per cup, and loaded with fiber, potassium and vitamin C. A “volume” food like eggplant is perfect in a dip like Baba Ganoush, because you can eat more for less calories, great for when you’re mindlessly snacking throughout the entire game on Sunday. Additionally, the fiber from this veggie is going to fill you up faster, especially when paired the fiber and protein of the chickpeas.
One of the keys to this recipe is to make sure the eggplant is really soft before you blend it with everything else. There are two ways to do this- one is to roast it in the oven (but that takes up to an hour) or, you place it directly over the flame of a gas burner or your grill (this just speeds up the process).
After you’re done cooking the eggplant, wrap it in foil and allow it to sit for about 15 minutes (this will help the skin peel off faster.)
Then, slice each eggplant in half and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh, leaving behind all the burnt flakes of skin.
This final step is optional, as I’m not sure how much benefit it really creates. But, lastly you’ll want to transfer the cooked flesh into a strainer over a bowl, and use the back of a spoon to smoosh it around, allowing all the excess liquid to drain out.
From there you simply have to grind it all together, drizzle with a dash of olive oil, and voila! Serve this as an appetizer, spread on sandwiches, or use it to “top” any other meal you may be eating. Can’t wait to hear what you think- stay healthy, my friends!
2 medium-large eggplants (a little over 2 pounds)
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 large or 4 small cloves garlic
¼ cup tahini
3.5 T lemon juice
2-5T olive oil*
¾ tsp sea salt, more or less to taste
¼ cup packed, fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
Naan, Pita Bread, Cucumbers, or Carrots for dipping
- Roast the eggplant until very, very soft. Either:
- If you have a gas stove, light the burner and place the eggplant directly over the flame. Use tongs to turn every minute or so, cooking until the outside is completely charred and eggplant is caving in (as demonstrated above). This should only take 10-15 minutes. Wrap the eggplant in foil, allow to sit 10-15 minutes, then slice the vegetable in half. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh and remove the charred skin.
- If you prefer to bake, preheat the oven to 350F and place the eggplant in the middle of the oven on a baking sheet. Allow to roast 45-60 minutes until very soft. This can be done a couple days in advance.
- Optional step: Transfer the flesh to a strainer over a bowl, and use the back of a spoon to mash the eggplant around, removing excess moisture and pulp.
- In a food processor, add the garlic and drained chickpeas. Grind for about 30 seconds to break up into small pieces. Then add the eggplant, tahini, lemon juice, 2T olive oil, and sea salt, blending until smooth. Add the in the parsley, and additional olive oil if you’d like. Pulse to combine. If you didn’t add in the additional 2T of olive oil to the baba ganoush, drizzle on top before serving with a sprinkle of parsley. Serve with warm naan, flatbread or crudité.
*You can get away with a scant 2T of olive oil in this, however, the more you add, the more flavor there will be. I typically blend 2T in to the baba ganoush, then swirl in the remaining 2-3T before serving, making the flavor of the olive oil more prominent.