I grow eggplant every year in my garden because it’s one of our favorites. I’ve grown a few different varieties and we’ve loved them all. The plants don’t require any special care and aren’t prone to many diseases; I’ve never had a problem growing them here in Northern Illinois. I do cage my plants, as the fruits can become pretty heavy, especially if you’re growing a large variety, such as Black Beauty.
I recently posted one of the newest eggplant recipes I’ve created, which is Eggplant Bianca, but this recipe here is a classic. Though there a certainly a ton of baba ghanoush recipes out there, I thought I’d share with you how I make it and just how easy it is.
Fire-roasting the eggplant gives this appetizer a wonderful, smoky flavor that’s hard to resist, even for people who don’t typically like eggplant. You can do this process on a gas stove or in the oven, which I’ve done, but I’ll warn you that the stove top method is a bit messy. A grill makes much easier and cleaner work of this.
As with most of my recipes, measurements are approximate.
- 2 large eggplants
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
Using a fork, pierce the skin of the eggplants all over – don’t go crazy, 6 or 8 times is plenty.
Place eggplant on hot grill, turning occasionally, until the skin is completely charred all the way around and eggplants are completely soft. Remove from grill and let rest on a cutting board until cool enough to handle.
Using a sharp knife, cut each eggplant open, scoop out the softened pulp and place it in a bowl. Discard skin.
To the eggplant pulp, add the remaining ingredients. Using a fork, mash together very well. Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle about a teaspoon of olive oil on top.
Serve with bread, toasted pita chips, crackers or toasted tortillas (pictured).
If you want to use the stove top method, using a pair of long tongs, carefully char the eggplant all the way around above a gas burner, making sure the eggplant is completely softened. To roast in the oven, place eggplant on a pan and roast at 425, turning occasionally, until fully charred and softened.
Some people like to remove the seeds from the eggplant when making this, but I don’t bother. Also, this is definitely better hand-mashed than pureed in a food processor or blender; you want it to have some texture.
Baba Ghanoush is best served immediately, while still a bit warm or at room temp. If making it ahead, bring to room temperature before serving.