Ready to elevate your dip game to the next level? Say hello to this Authentic Lebanese Baba Ganoush Recipe! This isn't just any Eggplant dip; it's a smoky, creamy, and utterly irresistible experience that'll transport your taste buds straight to the heart of the Middle East. Made with roasted eggplants and a blend of aromatic spices, this baba ganoush is the real deal. Whether you're a dip aficionado or new to the world of Middle Eastern cuisine, prepare to fall head over heels for this culinary gem. Get ready to dip, spread, and savor!
Learning to make this easy Eggplant Baba ganoush opened a new window for me because the process of roasting the eggplants and then adding some spices was something I kept to make other things, such as pasta fillings for Ravioli.
This recipe has inspired other eggplant recipes in our blog, such as our stuffed eggplants, as the texture we tried to reach for the baked eggplants was the one from this special dip.
Don't forget to check out our simple Lebanese Seven Spices mix to make any stew taste like an authentic Lebanese dish!
🧾 Baba Ganoush Ingredients
- Eggplants (Italian or American black eggplants) are the main ingredient in the recipe, providing a creamy texture and a mild, earthy flavor.
- Lemon juice adds a tangy and refreshing element to the dish, enhancing the overall taste and balancing the richness of other ingredients.
- Garlic cloves: They bring a pungent and aromatic quality to the recipe, enhancing the savory flavors and adding depth to the dish.
- Smoked Paprika (to add a smoky flavor): It infuses a distinct smokiness into the recipe, elevating the taste profile and adding a unique depth of flavor.
- Ground cumin contributes warm and earthy notes to the dish, enhancing the flavor profile and complementing other spices.
- Extra virgin olive oil: It serves as a cooking medium and adds richness to the dish, while also imparting its characteristic fruity and peppery flavor.
- Tahini (sesame paste): It provides a creamy and nutty texture to the recipe, adding richness and depth of flavor, as well as contributing to the overall smoothness of the dish (essential to use good quality Tahni paste- Aim for a Lebanese brand).
If you love tahini, don't forget to check out our maple tahini dressing for salads.
Baba ganoush is similar to hummus because they are both spreads, but it calls for roasted eggplant instead of chickpeas, and the preparation method is different. Both dips are Middle Eastern foods and are often served together with pita bread and raw vegetables.
The traditional method is for the eggplant to be broiled over an open flame before peeling so that the pulp is soft and has a smoky taste, which is exactly how I like to make it. It is a typical starter (meze) of the regional Levant cuisine.
So, you're ready to make some killer babaganoush, huh? Trust me, it's easier than you think, and you've got two awesome methods to choose from: stovetop or oven. Either way, you're in for a treat!
The Stovetop Method (preferred)
First off, let's talk stovetop. This method is perfect if you're looking for that smoky, authentic flavor. Start by giving your eggplants a few jabs with a fork. Then, it's time for their hot date with an open flame.
Keep an eye on them, rotating every so often to make sure they get evenly roasted and burnt. If you've got a big eggplant, give it some extra time to get all nice and tender.
Step 1: Roast eggplant on an open flame.
Step 2: Roast garlic in a skillet with a lid and mash it with a fork.
This adds to the smokiness. You can pinch it with the fork to avoid the entire eggplant exploding. Using smoked quality sweet paprika as a garnish adds some extra smokiness.
Roasting the eggplants with this method concentrates their flavor and ensures that your spread turns silky.
Step 3: Remove the Eggplants from the heat by letting them rest for 5 minutes in a plastic bag.
Step 4: Peel the Eggplants with a saw blade knife.
Step 6: Mash the eggplants and make a puree. Do not use a food processor. The texture here is Key!
Step 7: Add the lemon juice, tahini sauce, extra virgin olive oil, mashed garlic cloves, ground cumin, smoked paprika, and sea salt.
Finally, taste and adjust for salt and lemon. Add a pinch of smoked paprika on top and a splash of good olive oil. You can also top it with fresh pomegranate.
Hint: you can make this babaganoush recipe without tahini without a problem; simply replace it with the same amount of extra-virgin olive oil.
The Oven Method
Now, if you're more of an oven person, we've got you covered too. This is the method we use for our beloved Escalivada (a signature dish from Catalonia). Preheat that bad boy and get a baking sheet ready. Slice your eggplants in half, brush them with some olive oil, and let them roast until they're super tender.
After they've cooled down a bit, it's scooping time. Get that flesh out and into a strainer to remove any excess moisture. Remember to save some of that liquid; you'll thank me later.
Mash the eggplant with garlic and lemon juice, stir in some tahini, and then slowly add olive oil while stirring. Add the reserved liquid to make it extra creamy, and finish with your choice of garnishes.
- Garlic cloves: Use garlic powder or granulated garlic as a substitute. While the flavor will be similar, the dish may lack the fresh pungency that fresh garlic provides.
- Smoked Paprika (to add a smoky flavor): Substitute with liquid smoke or chipotle powder to achieve a smoky taste. However, the depth and intensity of the smoky flavor may vary.
- Ground cumin: Replace with ground coriander or a blend of other spices such as chili powder or curry powder. This will alter the flavor profile, but still provide a warm and earthy element.
- Extra virgin olive oil: Swap with a neutral vegetable oil like canola or grapeseed oil. The richness and fruity flavor of olive oil will be missed, but it won't significantly impact the overall outcome.
- Baba ganoush without tahini: Replace with any other nut butter like almond butter or cashew butter. The texture and flavor will differ, but it will still contribute to the creaminess and nuttiness of the dish. You can replace the tahini with cashew, peanut, or almond butter.
Store babaganoush in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Can you freeze baba ganoush?
You can freeze baba ganoush – be aware that the consistency may change slightly. While freezing, this dip may slightly separate, but the flavor remains the same.
🥢 How to serve
I use this Eggplant Baba ganoush recipe as a dip and a spread for sandwiches to make them richer. As an eggplant lover, this is probably one of the easiest recipes I go to when I need to cater to a big crowd.
A Middle-Eastern Meze, many small dishes served that everyone grabs, without having to serve a single plate, usually includes this Babaganoush, Hummus, Tabbouleh salad, Roasted Bell Pepper Dip (Muhammara), red pepper hummus, and Crispy Falafel. Find all these delicious recipes on this site.
It has a very intense, delicious, and particular flavor that is hard to find in other eggplant-based recipes. The intensity is given by both the Tahini and the burnt eggplant; you can tune it up with the juice of the fresh lemon.
Here,The cooking method is the key! I like to use the puree as a base for other recipes and even stuffing for ravioli.
Curious about Eggplant's benefits?
Learn about the surprising health benefits of eggplant.
🧐 What to eat with baba ganoush?
Baba ganoush is super versatile, and there are tons of delicious ways to enjoy it. Whether you're hosting a party or just snacking solo, here are some killer pairings:
The Classic Route
- Pita Bread: You can't go wrong with warm, fluffy pita. Tear, dip, and enjoy!
- Veggie Sticks: Think carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers for a crunchy contrast.
- Falafel: Because who doesn't love a good falafel moment?
The Trendy Twists
- Cauliflower Wings: Spice up your baba ganoush experience with some crispy, baked cauliflower wings.
- Sweet Potato Slices: Dip these bad boys in your baba ganoush for a sweet and savory combo that's out of this world.
The Health Nut
- Quinoa Salad: A spoonful of baba ganoush can add a creamy, smoky element to a fresh quinoa poke or Bhudda bowl.
- Zucchini Noodles: Mix it in with some "zoodles" for a low-carb, high-flavor meal.
The Snack Attack
- Chips: Whether it's tortilla chips or vegan-friendly pita chips, the crunch is a perfect match for the creamy dip.
- Crackers: Opt for something like whole-grain or flaxseed crackers for a hearty snack.
The Full Meal Deal
- Grilled Veggies: Use it as a side sauce for a plate of grilled asparagus, mushrooms, or eggplant slices.
- Vegan Pizza: Spread it as a base layer on your pizza crust before adding other toppings or on top of the simple but exquisite marinara pizza, which traditionally is served without cheese, so babaganoush makes a great creamy topping.
So there you have it! Whether you're in the mood for something classic or looking to shake things up, baba ganoush is the versatile dip that plays well with pretty much anything. Happy dipping! 🍆🌱🎉
The answer to this question is not so straightforward. Eggplant is harvested in the summer but could be grown year-round, depending on location.
Generally, eggplants are planted between March and May in cold climates and between June and July in warm climates. There may also be some variances at different locations inside a state.
🍆 More Eggplant favorites
⭐ If you try this recipe, let us know! 💬 Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag us @ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Lebanese Baba Ganoush Recipe Stovetop & Oven Methods)
- Pierce the eggplants with a fork and roast them on an open flame (or in the oven if you don’t have a gas stove).
- Allow eggplant to roast over the flame for 20-25 minutes, moving them every 5 minutes. The larger the eggplant, the longer it will take to burn.
- When finished, remove them from the flame and put them in a plastic bag, let them rest for 5 mins, save the steamed liquid and proceed to peel it with a sawed knife. Discard the skin.
- Let the eggplant return to room temperature and peel the skin with a saw blade knife.
- Mash the eggplant pulp with a fork or a masher.
- Mix all the ingredients plus some eggplant liquid, about 2-3 tablespoons.
- Ensure all the ingredients are well mixed until you have a uniform paste.
- Drizzle with olive oil and paprika and garnish with fresh parsley and/or pomegranate seeds.
- Preheat & Prep: Fire up your oven to 450°F (232 ºC) and position the rack in the upper third. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper because we're all about that non-stick life.
- Oil them Up: Halve the eggplants lengthwise and give the cut sides a quick brush of olive oil. Lay them face-down on your prepped baking sheet.
- Roast Away: Pop those eggplants in the oven for 35-40minutes. You're aiming for insides as tender as a love song and skin that's starting to sag.
- Cool Off: Once they're done, let them take a breather. Flip them over and get scooping.
- Strain & Save: Place a mesh strainer over a bowl and transfer the eggplant flesh into it. Ditch the skins, but not before giving the strainer a shake to release and reserve some liquid for later.
- Mash & Mix: Move the strained eggplant to a fresh bowl. Add in garlic and lemon juice, and mash it up until it's starting to look like the dip of your dreams. Stir in the tahini.
- Drizzle Time: As you stir, slowly add in olive oil. Keep going until you've got something that's creamy and irresistible.
- Final Touches: Remember that reserved eggplant liquid? Time to shine! Add 2-3 tablespoons and mix until you've got a uniform, luscious paste.
- Garnish & Serve: Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, a dash of paprika, and either fresh parsley or pomegranate seeds for that Insta-worthy finish.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice. See our full Nutritional Disclosure here.
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