Babaganoush is a summertime staple at our house. This is one of my favorite dips of all time. It’s rich and full of flavor, and goes well with raw veggie sticks, grilled eggplant slices, chips, and as a side to a Middle Eastern meal. It also freezes well, so this is a great option for using up summer produce.
(Makes about 2 cups)
What You’ll Need
- 3 medium eggplants (about 2 pounds total)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced, or 4-5 cloves of roasted garlic* (my preference, see note below)
- 2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon, plus more as needed
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (Pimentón de la Vera, or Ahumado) (optional)
- a dash (or more) of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro leaves
- sea salt
- fresh pepper
*There are lots of more complicated ways to roast garlic, but I just throw a whole head of it into the oven while I’m broiling the eggplant. It gets soft, and the flavor mellows and deepens.
What to Do:
- Cut the eggplants in half, length-wise and roast under a broiler, flipping halfway through. They need to be well-browned on each side, and smooshy all over. Bonus points: Grill over a fire, for a nice, smoky flavor.
- Place the eggplant in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Let it cool (seriously!) and then peel the skin off. I sometimes leave a little bit of charred skin on for flavor. Some liquid will pool in the bowl– don’t pour it off– it’s sweet and delicious!
- Add the spices, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, the tahini and olive oil, and the fresh herbs to the bowl. I use an immersion blender to blend it all really smooth. Of course you could use a regular blender or a food processor. I have often made this just with a fork, a nice chunky version– naturally, you would need to chop the ingredients pretty thoroughly first if you go that route.
- Taste and season (does it need more salt, more of a little kick from cayenne, is the tartness about right?).
- Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with a little olive oil and garnish with chopped herbs.
This is one of my favorite summer foods, perfect as a snack or to be packed in a picnic. We took this with us to the beach for our rowboat picnic, and enjoyed it with cucumbers, radishes and potato chips. Enjoy!