Baba ganoush is a roasted eggplant dip full of flavor and nutrition. It’s easy to make and a great way to get veggies in your family without them even noticing.
If you just aren’t into eggplant, you’re not alone. Lots of people are iffy on the texture as well as the flavor. However, the humble eggplant is known as the “king of vegetables” in other parts of the world. Surely, that’s worth a try!
If the international ringing endorsement isn’t enough, eggplant can give you a comprehensive boost of nearly all the vitamins and minerals you need throughout the day.
Sold? Ok, maybe you’re not quite ready for slices of eggplant on a salad, or famed eggplant lasagna, so let’s try something really approachable – baba ganoush.
WHAT IS BABA GANOUSH?
Baba ganoush is a dip made with baked or broiled eggplant. Once cooked through and soft, the eggplant is peeled and mashed with tahini, olive oil, and spices. Basically, it’s an eggplant hummus.
Fun sounding name aside, baba ganoush is a healthy and versatile dish that has a place in every home. It’s keto, low-carb, gluten free, and vegan. And just 2 Weight Watchers points per serving. It’s also amazing even if you aren’t on any of those diets.
In Middle Eastern cuisine, baba ganoush is specially flavored to fit any gathering and to keep things fresh. You can season yours however you like best – the options are truly endless!
BABA GANOUSH VS. HUMMUS
So, in the competition baba ganoush vs. hummus, who wins? While both dishes have a nearly identical supporting cast (tahini, olive oil, and spices) the two stars of each dish give them unique flavor and texture.
Hummus, made with cooked and pureed chickpeas has skyrocketed in popularity over the last several years, and most grocery stores carry a dizzying array of hummus flavors these days.
First, while both dips are a great source of fiber and protein, they offer lots of healthy fats. Baba ganoush calories, however, are lower than hummus. This baba ganoush recipe has just 92 calories per serving.
Beyond macronutrients, the two dishes vary somewhat in the balance of vitamins and minerals they offer, mostly because baba ganoush uses considerably more eggplant than hummus does chickpeas. Hummus also tends to have a thicker texture than baba ganoush.
HOW TO MAKE BABA GANOUSH
Wondering how to make baba ganoush? Here’s easy step-by-step instructions for a traditional baba ganoush.
- Preheat your charcoal grill to a medium-hot temperature. At the same time, preheat your oven to 375.
- Poke the eggplant with a fork in several places to allow steam to vent. Place the eggplant on the grill rack about 4 – 5 inches from the fire on the grill.
- As the skin blackens and blisters, turn the eggplant frequently with tongs to cook the entire surface. When the flesh is soft, remove from the heat. Depending on the size of your eggplant, this can take anywhere from 10 – 15 minutes.
- Transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until very soft.
- Remove from the oven and let the eggplant cool slightly. Peel and discard the skin.
- Mash the eggplant in a medium bowl to make a paste.
- Add ¼ cup tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and cumin. Mix well.
- Season with salt, lemon juice, tahini to taste.
- Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and spread with the back of a spoon to form a shallow well.
- Drizzle olive oil over the top and fill the well. Sprinkle with parsley.
- Scatter sliced kalamata olives around the sides and serve at room temperature with pita bread or pita chips and sliced veggies for dipping.
TIPS FOR MAKING BABA GANOUSH
Looking for tips to make baba ganoush even better? Read on.
First, the grill. While a charcoal grill will give you the best smoky flavor in your baba ganoush, a gas grill, or even a griddle or hot cast iron skillet on your stove top will work. Since you’re just trying to blister the skin for easy removal, you can even work this step under the broiler in your oven. This is my preferred method during the winter months when it’s too cold to grill.
A traditional baba ganoush recipe is mashed with a fork, not put in a food processor. You’ll get a different texture with using the food processor and it can be more watery. Plus, you’ll have a lot less to wash if you just use the fork.
Once you have the basic recipe down, experiment with other flavors to spice up your dip. Try substituting smoked paprika for the cumin. Or get really creative with Middle Eastern blends like za’atar seasoning or baharat spice blend.
Since the flavors are so noticeable in this dip, choose your supporting ingredients carefully. The dish is relatively simple, so each ingredient has a chance to shine. Go for freshly squeezed lemon juice, rather than bottled. Select a high-quality olive oil and be sure you’re getting pure tahini, rather than a tahini dip.
The toppings really add to the flavor as well. I love the briny saltiness of the kalamata olives, but you can leave them off if your family doesn’t like olives. The chopped parsley brings out the other flavors, and the pine nuts add a bit of texture and nuttiness. You could also sprinkle with sesame seeds, lemon zest, or fresh chopped dill.
USE BABA GANOUSH FOR A VEGGIE TRAY AND MORE IDEAS
BABA GANOUSH INGREDIENTS
Here are some links to order the baba ganoush ingredients if you can’t find them locally. Some of the pricier items like tahini and pine nuts are usually cheaper for me to order online. If you buy anything on Amazon from one of these links, we get a small commission that supports this site.
Okay, you’re all set. Now, pick up one of those smooth, shiny eggplant lurking in the produce aisle and get to work!
MAKE SURE YOU DON’T LOSE THE RECIPE!
You can save the recipe to Pinterest here. We’d also love to have you leave a photo on the pin when you make it!
MORE DIP RECIPES ON EATING RICHLY:
- Traditional Chinese Plum Sauce
- Poststicker Sauce
- Gaucamole Bacon Burger Dip
- Two Minute Guacamole
- Pico De Gallo
- Salsa Verde
- Fresh Mango Salsa
- Pomegranate Salsa
- Healthy Honey Mustard Dip
- 1 large eggplant
- 1/4 cup tahini, or more as needed
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, or more as needed
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pinch ground cumin
- salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf (Italian) parsley
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
- Preheat charcoal grill to medium-hot and preheat your oven to 375F.
- Poke the eggplant all over with a fork and place on the grill rack a few inches from the fire.
- As the eggplant's skin blackens and blisters, use tongs to turn frequently so the entire surface blisters.
- When all the skin is blistered, remove from the heat (about 10-15 minutes).
- Move the eggplant to a rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes, until completely soft.
- Once you take the eggplant from the oven, let it cool slightly then peel the skin and throw the skin away.
- Mash the eggplant in a bowl until you get a paste.
- Mix in the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and cumin.
- Season with salt, and add additional lemon juice or tahini to taste.
- Transfer your baba ganoush to your serving dish, and use the back of a spoon to press the center down into a shallow well.
- Fill the well with olive oil. sprinkle with chopped parsley, and arrange the olives around the sides.
- Serve with dipping items of your choice. We love pita bread, sliced cucumber and tomatoes, and carrot sticks.
To toast your pine nuts, place in a skillet on high heat and shake the pan regularly until they are lightly browned.
Nutrition info is an estimate, and is only for the baba ganoush itself. Make sure to calculate your own info for the items you dip.
This recipe is vegan, gluten free, and low-carb. Choose to dip veggies instead of pita if you are on a keto or gluten free diet.
Serving Size:8 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 92Sodium: 70mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 2gProtein: 2g
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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.