Traditional baba ganoush is vegan and allergy-friendly. In it’s most basic form, this middle eastern dish is made with eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. We’ve added a little ground cumin and smoked paprika to kick it up a notch.
When you get it right, baba ganoush is smooth, smoky, and irresistible.
It’s time to bring out your favorite dippers…
You can use baba ganoush like you would hummus, as a dip or spread. It’s a great party appetizer for everyone, including those on special diets.
And wow! Have you seen B-Free’s allergy-friendly pita bread? We find B-Free products at Ralphs, whose parent company is Kroger. If you have trouble finding the product near you, it is available online.
The first step is choosing eggplant that are shiny and smooth, and feel heavy for their size. Large eggplant usually contain more seeds, which can affect the texture. Smaller eggplant tend to be more intensely flavored and have fewer seeds than larger eggplant. Use eggplant that is not overripe, as overripe eggplant tastes more bitter.
Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly brush the eggplant with olive oil and place on prepared baking sheet. Set on a rack in the upper third of oven and roast until the interior is very tender, about 50-60 minutes. You’ll be able to hear the eggplant sizzling in its skin. When removed from the oven the skin will collapse.
When the eggplant are cool to the touch, cut off each stem. Slit each eggplant lengthwise through the top. Scoop out the flesh and transfer to a food processor, discarding the skin.
Add tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. It’s wonderful with just these basic ingredients. If desired, add a little smoked paprika and ground cumin which lend to a smoky flavor. Blend for about 10-15 seconds until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Taste and add additional lemon juice, as desired.
We made 2 batches. The photo below is with the paprika and cumin. This batch was blended a little longer, about 15 seconds.
The second batch (shown below) was made with just the basic ingredients of roasted eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt. We blended this batch less, for a chunkier texture and garnished with chopped Italian parsley.
Both batches were yummy! It’s a toss-up on which one is our favorite. Joel likes the paprika and cumin in the first batch, and the chunky texture of the second batch. I love ’em both!
Enjoy with allergy-friendly pita bread or sliced baguette, and fresh veggies.
Chef Joel’s Tip
The garlic can be replaced with raw minced garlic. However, raw garlic has a stronger, pungent and heated taste. Garlic mellows and sweetens considerably with roasting and compliments the smokiness of the eggplant.
To roast the garlic, peel and discard the loose layers of one bulb, leaving cloves intact. With a sharp knife, cut 1/4 to 1/2-inch from the top (which looks like the tail) to expose cloves. Drizzle the exposed head with a little olive oil and rub the oil over the cut exposed cloves. Tightly wrap the bulb in foil and bake for about 30-40 minutes, until the cloves are soft.
You only need 2 teaspoons of roasted garlic, so you’ll have a little extra to add to pasta dishes or to spread over a toasted baguette. Yum!
For another great appetizer, try our White Bean Dip.
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Yield 2 Cups
Free of: gluten and top 8 allergens.
This baba ganoush is smooth, smoky, and irresistible.
2 small-medium eggplants (about 2 pounds)
3 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp roasted garlic, or 2 garlic cloves, minced (see recipe notes)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin, optional
1/8 tsp smoked paprika, optional
2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley, garnish
- Preheat oven to 400-degrees F. Lightly brush eggplant with olive oil. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Place on a rack in the upper third of the oven and roast for 50-60 minutes until the eggplant are soft when pierced with a fork or knife. The eggplant will shrivel and collapse slightly after removing from oven.
- When the eggplant are cool to the touch, cut off each stem. Slit each eggplant lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh and transfer to a fine mesh strainer to drain off excess liquid, discarding the skin. This method takes up to an hour. A quick 30 second method is to lay the chunks of eggplant in a salad spinner, and gently spin a couple of times.
- Add the tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, paprika (if desired), and cumin (if desired). Blend for about 10-15 seconds until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Adjust the blending time according to the texture you prefer. For example, blend for a shorter time if you like more texture. Taste and add additional lemon juice, as desired.
- Garnish with parsley. Enjoy with allergy-friendly pita bread or baguettes, and fresh vegetables.
To roast the garlic, peel and discard the loose layers of one bulb, leaving cloves intact. With a sharp knife, cut 1/4 to 1/2-inch from the top (which looks like the tail) to expose cloves. Drizzle the exposed head with a little olive oil and rub the oil over the cut exposed cloves. Tightly wrap the bulb in foil and bake for about 30-40 minutes at 400-degrees F, until the cloves are soft.