Baba ghanoush hails from Near & Middle East & is an eggplant dip starter, or meze, although I’m certain you already knew that. I just call it a perfect excuse to eat warm flat- bread or as a vehicle to help consume lots of vegetables. In my world there’s three things that make veggie consumption a synch: a good dip, juicing them & lots of butter. In this instance I’m opting for the creamy, smoky, spicy baba ghanoush – in other words, a good dip.
The essence of a good baba ghanoush is its smokiness. But not all char the eggplant, not a crime of course but cooking the eggplant on the barbecue as opposed to roasting it in the oven, imparts a wonderful, albeit subtle, smoked flavor. To boost that & transform the rather beige-colored dip, I also add smoked paprika. Giving the baba ghanoush a slight red hue – much more attractive than beige wouldn’t you say? Actually it’s more like greige. Don’t judge a book et al…
Serve whatever takes you fancy with this: as I mentioned, I like it for veggie dipping but truth be told I’d dip bread into it all day long. Just saying. Don’t judge.
Baba ghanoush is easy as to make & as I state in the recipe – if you don’t have a food processor then mash it with a fork. And, like so many of the recipes here on Fresh Hunger, it’s make-ahead. Well I have to scurry: I’m heading to see my mother-in-law who was rushed to hospital yesterday. Chat soon lovlies, toodles L xo
PS. If you love dips & creamy tahini paste, you’ll love this beet, feta & tahini dip.
- 1 eggplant
- 1/3 cup tahini paste
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (chili flakes)
- 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- pinch salt & pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- cilantro (or parsley), extra olive oil & toasted pine nuts, for serving
- Preheat a barbecue to medium high. Prick the eggplant all over with a skewer – about 20 times.
- Cook eggplant with the barbecue lid closed heat for 20 to 30 minutes or until it’s very soft & a little charred. Wrap in foil & leave until cool enough to handle. Peel away skin. Place eggplant flesh into a very fine metal sieve & gently press to remove excess moisture. Scrape flesh into food processor bowl.
- Add paste, juice, garlic, red pepper, paprika, cumin, cayenne, salt & pepper. Blitz until smooth. Don’t feel like dragging the processor out?? Then mash with a fork until desired consistency. I prefer the dip smooth, some leave it a little chunky.
- Scrape into small bowl. Add olive oil & stir until well combined. Smooth top. Garnish with cilantro, oil, & pine nuts if desired. Serve with bread & raw veggies.