Recipe: Baba Ghanoush with Roasted Garlic

When I’m at parties I like to dip, dip, dip. You’ll recognize me immediately – I’m the one in the corner, filling up on dip before the meal ever comes. And if, for some reason, I’m not? Just know that’s where I really want to be.

When it comes to dips, baba ganoush is everything I never thought it would be.  Roasted eggplant, far from bitter, transforms into a smoky and smooth treat , able to fill my belly in just the right sort of way – without that greasy, pop-out-my-bellybutton feeling some foods leave me with. In fact, baba ganoush strikes me as one of those diet foods that is actually as comforting and every bit as delicious as French fries.

But I’m crazy like that.

Baba Ghanoush has long been in my top favorite dips. While Baba Ghanoush is traditionally made with raw garlic, something about the chill in the air made me decide to roast a whole head of garlic for the soft, warm richness.

You can never go wrong eating a whole head of roasted garlic.

And you can quote me on that.

Makes about a quart

Ingredients:

4 cups cooked eggplant flesh from about 3 large eggplants
(2 of mine were 8 inches long and 1 was 12 inches long)
1 head garlic, roasted
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp – 1/4 cup tahini (to taste)
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
handful fresh parsley
1 tsp salt, or to taste
pepper, to taste

Method:

After a fun night out on the town, wake up with purpose. Wake up to eggplants.

Downtown Beirut. Photo by Bertil Videt.

First, preheat the oven to 475F.  Then get silly with your fork.

Poke, poke, poke a million-billion holes in your eggplant and rub all over with olive oil. Place the eggplant on roasting pan with the head of garlic, all wrapped up in foil like a mummy.

A delicious garlic mummy.

Roast the eggplant, turning occasionally until they collapse. Large eggplant will take 30-45 minutes. Roast the foil-wrapped garlic for 2o minutes, removing from oven while the eggplant finishes up. Set both aside until cool enough to handle.

While you wait, take a stroll around Baalbek, the amazing Roman ruins of Lebanon once known as the City of the Sun.

Baalbek ruins in Lebanon. Photo by Heretiq

Sit in a corner and let the sun warm your face while you take a brief nap. Then, fully renewed, return home and finish up the baba ghanoush.

Toast the pine nuts over medium heat in a clean dry skillet  until golden brown, stirring continually. Add half to a food processor, reserving other half for garnish. Pop the garlic cloves out of the skins and add them to the processor as well. Try not to gobble them all up at once!

Finally, scoop out four cups of eggplant flesh and add it to the processor with lemon juice, tahini, and parsley. Pulse, drizzling in olive as needed – I used about 1/4 cup. The mixture should take on a hummus-like consistency.

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Scoop into bowls – or more traditionally – onto plates – and top with some of the pine nuts… and that’s it!

Well, unless you subscribe to the belief that a sprig of fresh parsley makes everything prettier.

Which, as a matter of fact, I do.

Now bring this to a party and sit in a corner with a favorite friend and dip, dip, dip.

With each bite, daydream yourself halfway around the world, enjoying a warm, sunny day.

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Comments

  1. You roasted the garlic too? That’s genius.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      *And* you get to put a zillion times more in, which I am always in favor of. A whole head instead of 2 cloves? Yes please!

  2. Roasted garlic is the yummy secret… you shared! I can’t let you explore Lebanese cuisine without coming out of the woodwork. Jamie would be disappointed if I did. I love healthy party dips, I love baba ghanoush, I love hummus… I love my version of combining the two (roasted eggplant hummus). I know I don’t respond much Sasha, but I love you for doing this so well… I know it will be an awesome cookbook someday soon.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Todd, thanks for chiming in – I love the idea of combining the two dips but was… well… a bit afraid. I am more likely to do it, now that I know you’ve successfully forged the path already. Keep in touch and cheers!

  3. Hey, I am that girl at the party…and baba ganoush is one of my all time favorites together with guacamole. I am not crazy about raw garlic and always skimp on it but I will try the roasted garlic route for sure now. Have a good week end.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Oh, good, then I’ll have company in the corner :) And I’ll gladly share a good guacamole with you, as well – happy Friday!

  4. Is there something traditional that you dip in it? Tortilla strips? Pita chips? Crackers? How do they eat it over there?

  5. Michael Reinke says:

    I just found this site and WOW is all I can say. A unique novel idea. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Michael, welcome to the Adventure. Have fun browsing around, and hopefully you find an interesting dish to try. My favorite way to browse is with the interactive world map :)

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