Babaganoush, aside from being incredibly fun to say, is one of my alltime favorite dips. It’s up there with Muhammara or Artichoke white bean hummus. That’s saying something. I’ve had it at countless restaurants and purchased it more than once from Whole Foods, but the funny thing is- I’ve never made it myself. Why, I have absolutely no idea because it is SO easy! I make it even easier, and you’ll see how in a minute.
There’s something so unique about the taste of this creamy, savory eggplant spread that I just can’t get enough. I probably ate half the batch while scooping it into the container, lucky for me it’s super healthy- vegan and gluten-free, in fact- and I can get away it it. I like things I can get away with eating a lot of.
The traditional way to prepare babaganoush is to poke the eggplants with a fork and grill or roast, whole, and scoop out the insides from the peel. Well I don’t mind the peel- if you do, you can absolutely peel your eggplant, but I’m into the extra nutrients it provides. So what I do, and find substantially easier as it takes about a third of the time, is simply chopping the eggplant and roasting it with some olive oil. Tastes just as good- if not better infused with olive oil goodness. Do it whatever way you prefer, just please don’t use the eggplant raw! Yeck- I won’t even go there. I love it too much.
Babaghanoush (Roasted eggplant dip)
Makes about 1.5 cups dip
1 large eggplant, chopped into 1” squares (peeling optional)
1 tbsp olive oil
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Roasted eggplant (see above)
2-3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup sesame seeds or tahini
juice of half a lemon (2-3T)
4-6 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp finely chopped italian parsley (as needed)
sea salt, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss eggplant with olive oil and a big pinch each sea salt and black pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 20-40 minutes until eggplant is soft and breaks easily with a fork. Let cool slightly before pureeing.
2. In a food processor or vita mix, combine eggplant, garlic, sesame seeds or tahini, lemon juice and olive oil (you will need more if you are using sesame seeds over tahini- start with 4T either way). Puree until smooth, adding olive oil as necessary.
3. Taste for seasoning, adding more sea salt as needed. If desired, stir in chopped parsley, or garnish with parsley bits before serving.
Serve with homemade crackers, crudites or pita chips!