Baba Gah-who? No, Baba Ganoush!

Whether you’re a fan of eggplant or not, you’ll love this baba ganoush. Maybe you’ve even had it before and didn’t even know it. Sneaky… It’s often served alongside of hummus on Mediterranean platters. And if you make this baba ganoush, plus my recipes for  White Bean Spread (which easily transforms into hummus) and Mediterranean roasted bell peppers, you’ll be halfway to making your own platter! These would be perfect for appetizers or a vegetarian meal all on its own.

This recipe scales up, down and sideways, meaning you can increase, decrease, add, or subtract spices or herbs.

Arliano Update (Aggiornamento Arliano):

True confession: the eggplants that I used for this recipe were store bought. I know, I know, the horrors! The ones from our garden quickly went down hill after the little heatwave we had a few weeks ago. Next year perhaps we’ll create little shade structures for them, so they don’t get sun scorched.  The butternut squash are still going strong, so I hope you made the pasta recipe I posted last time. Since then, friends have suggested that I also try making a butternut risotto. Great idea. I’ll just follow my recipe for Spinach Risotto with Shrimp but put in cooked butternut squash in place of the spinach and leave out the shrimp. I like recipes that serve as flexible springboards for other ingredients.

Our pomegranite bush represents a lesson in patience for me. I nearly cut it down when we first moved here because I thought it was dead since it didn’t produce leaves until late May . But lo and behold, we now have fruit! Not removing it reminded me to wait for a whole year to experience all of the seasons to see what “is” before we determine what will “be.”

We just had the realization that when work starts on the inside of our house, we won’t have hot water. Oops! How did we not think of that? I guess someone “up there” was looking out for us and maybe that’s why our apartment in the city center hasn’t sold yet. (Although, finding a place to live for a week or so would be a great problem to have. Please, please, someone buy our apartment!) We may be moving back there for a couple of weeks in October.

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Baba gah-who? No, Baba Ganoush!

  • Servings: 1 quart
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 3 large globe eggplants, about 3 pounds, or 1.5 kg (Note: For a high-quality eggplant, the stem leaves should still be green and clinging to the eggplant and the eggplant should be violet, not black. If it’s black, it’s overripe.)
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra to drizzle on the final dish
  • 1 – 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (or, quantity per your preference)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red chili pepper (or, quantity per your preference)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (or, quantity per your preference)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (not iodized table salt) (or, quantity per your preference)

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F (200C)
  2. Remove the leaves and prick each eggplant several times with the sharp tip of a knife on each side and brush them with a bit of olive oil (if you don’t prick them, they could literally explode leaving a giant, hard-to-clean mess in your oven like mine did once that one time I forgot to prick them)
  3. On a rack, roast the eggplants for 35 – 45 minutes, or until they are fork tender and the skins have wrinkled. Remove from oven, cover them with a dish towel or loose aluminum foil and let them cool enough to remove the skin. Discard the stems and skin
  4. Place the eggplant flesh and all the other ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you reach your desired consistency. Add more olive oil or a splash of water if the baba ganoush is too thick. If you don’t have a food processor, just finely mince the eggplant and garlic and stir all of the ingredients in a bowl until well-mixed
  5. Serve at room temperature with a drizzle of your best olive oil on top and pieces of flat bread, pita bread or tortilla chips

Author: gregnelsoncooks

Visit weekly for original and adapted recipes as well as cooking tips to make your kitchen life easier — and more delicious! I’ll include simple, straight forward instructions along with recipes that are truly worth your time making. And, recipes that elevate the familiar and introduce you to the new and unexpected.

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