Baba Ghannouj

I am obsessed with eggplants. If I read the word eggplant on a restaurant menu in a dish name or ingredient list I can’t think about anything else and have to order that exact dish.
“If there is an eggplant candy,… I will gladly have it!” ;)

Baba Ghannouj is all about eggplant but I grew to dislike the strong and persistent smoky aromas that come with it. I had to find a better way! This Baba Ghannouj recipe is different from the charred-eggplant-skin versions. The eggplants are peeled and oven roasted until golden. This process gives the baba ghannouj milder flavors with caramelized notes. Youpi!!!

The rest of the recipe is really easy; tahini of course, a light garlic hint, some salt, and my mother-in-law Nanette’s magic trick: yogurt. This baba ghannouj is addictively creamy and smooth.

Bon appétit!

 
 

Baba Ghannouj

Recipe credits: Rafaella Sargi
Yields 4 1/2 cups of Baba Ghannouj

Ingredients
3 large eggplants (approx weight: 4 pounds / 1.8kg)
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, grated
1/2 cup Tahini
1/3 cup plain yogurt
3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Extra virgin olive oil (for serving)


Directions

Prep all the ingredients.
You will need one baking sheet lined with parchment paper, a vegetable peeler, a brush, a big mixing bowl, and a potato masher (or a large fork).

Heat the oven to 400F (200C).

Peel the eggplants, cut both ends and slice each eggplant in half, lengthwise.
Place the eggplants cut side up on the baking sheet in a single layer. Using a brush (or your fingers!) lightly coat the cut side of each eggplant with vegetable oil. Bake in the hot oven for 1 hour or until the eggplants are cooked through and lightly golden.

Just before you remove the eggplants from the oven, put the grated garlic clove in a large mixing bowl. Remove the roasted eggplants and immediately place them all in the mixing bowl, on top of each other and specially on top of the grated garlic. This will briefly “cook” the garlic and make it less pungent. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Using a potato masher, crush the eggplants and garlic until smooth. Add the tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, and salt. Mix again using the potato masher so everything is homogeneously combined and looks like a thick chunky paste. Taste and correct seasoning.

Transfer to a serving plate. Cover with plastic wrap and let it cool in the fridge for a few hours.

Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil before serving.

You can also add fresh thyme leaves, pomegranate seeds and enjoy the baba ghannouj with pita bread, crackers, vegetables, on a toast of bread, or as a side for the baked kebbeh.