Creamy, smoky eggplant spread is so easy to make that I can't believe I've relied on my Mediterranean deli to keep me supplied all these years! I just roasted eggplants while I was baking sweet potatoes, flipped them a few times, scooped out the insides after the eggplants collapsed, then mashed in the rest of the ingredients with a fork. Get the details in the baba ganoush recipe below.
Here, baba ganoush is spread on toasted Good Bread Machine Bread from Fifty Weeks of Green and served with tomato slices and olives. It made a great savory breakfast, but usually I'd serve this as an appetizer or snack.
How to Make Baba Ganoush or Smoky Eggplant Spread
Active time: 15 minutes. Total time: about an hour. Makes about 2 cups or 8 to 12 servings.
2 pounds firm Asian or Italian eggplant
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika or 1 tablespoon minced parsley (optional garnish)
- Start with firm, slender eggplant. That's dark purple Italian eggplant in most of the pictures in this post, but I've had even better results with the more slender Asian eggplants. They cook faster, don't even have a hint of bitterness, and have fewer seeds.
- Put an oven rack in the center position. (I also put a rack in at the bottom position to bake sweet potatoes at the same time. You could also roast mixed vegetables.) Heat oven to 500°F.
- Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil. Prick eggplants all over with a fork so steam can escape as they cook. Put eggplants on the cookie sheet and bake for 35 to 50 minutes, turning every 10 to 15 minutes.
- When the eggplants have collapsed, poke them with a fork to make sure they are very tender and thoroughly cooked. The insides should seem almost liquid. Cut through the skins from stem to tip. Scoop the flesh into a bowl with a spoon. Mince garlic and stir it into the eggplant with the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings. The garlic will become stronger as the dip rests, so use restraint.
- Serve chilled as a spread or a dip, topped with smoked paprika or minced parsley if desired. Best the day it is made, but keeps for three or four days refrigerated.