I hate to think that some of you have only heard about baba ganoush because of Wedding Crashers, but the reality is it just doesn’t get enough credit. Before I go any further though I need to admit that I dislike tahini. I cringe when I think of it. I don’t like when hummus has a strong tahini taste, and do not get me started with tahini dressings. This creamy baba ganoush is light on the tahini, so if you are like me and cringe to it this recipe is for you.
I consider myself a bit of a baba expert. I grew up eating Middle Eastern food, I am taking the entire spectrum here, shawarma, hummus, manakeesh, tabouleh, zhoug, kibbeh, shall I go on? There was one shawarma place in Brooklyn called Pita off the Corner that had the best shawarma sandwich, but most importantly the best baba ganoush. It was so good that it became my standard for all baba ganoush that followed. It was lighter in color, creamy not chunky, and was bright in flavor with a subtle eggplant taste. I can still hear my mother complaining about several places that didn’t even come close to its flavor. “They burnt the eggplant” she would say. It took me a few gos at the recipe but I was finally about to recreate the baba ganoush, and dare I say the secret is mayo.
Now before someone comes at me for adding mayo to my baba ganoush, try it. Mayo makes this creamy, it makes it a perfect dip for toasted pita bread or a great spread for a shawarma sandwich. Truth is sometimes I just eat it with a spoon.
Grill or Roast the Eggplant – My preferred method of making baba ganoush is grilling the eggplant. This is going to give you a more charred flavor vs roasting, however both work. If opting to grill preheat your grill to at least 400 degrees fahrenheit. While waiting, poke 2-3 slits in the eggplant to prevent it from exploding. Once hot place the eggplant directly on the grates and close the grill lid. Rotate the eggplant every 10 minutes to prevent burning. Depending on the temp of the grill this should take about 20-30 minutes. If roasting, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the eggplants on a sheet tray and roast for 30-40 minutes turning every 10. Whichever method you opt to do, the final eggplant should be charred on the outside and soft throughout.
Prep the Eggplant – Before you can toss it all in the food processor the eggplant needs some treatment. Once taken off the grill or out of the oven let the eggplant cool to room temperature. This will make removing the skin much easier. To peel the skin off simply cut the tops off and peel away the skin. Discard the skin, tops, and excess liquid that has pooled at the bottom of the bowl or plate.
Process– Add all the ingredients, eggplants, tahini, mayo, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Blend until desired consistency. Baba ganoush can be enjoyed right away, however I find it tastes best after sitting and chilling in the fridge to let all the flavors come together and develop.
Use this baba ganoush as a spread or grab some hot pita , a little bit of EVOO and some herbs and enjoy as a dip!
Although it is best to enjoy within the first day or two, baba ganoush can be stored in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
Looking for more Middle Eastern / Mediterranean spreads and dips? Check out the below!