Eggplants just happen to be one of my all-time favorite vegetables. Cooked in various ways, it often outshines any main dish. I’m Colombian-Lebanese, and eggplant was not just grown in our corner of a garden, but was also plated at least twice a week. We alternated between Mediterranean, Italian, and Asian flavors. The variations are endless!
Baba Ganoush, similar to Hummus, will rekindle the love for eggplant if it’s not already planted in your heart. Simple to make, vegan, and absolutely delicious. Pair it with toasted pita or naan that’s smothered in olive oil and garlic powder for an extra kick.
Roasting the eggplant offers a subtle smoky-charred flavor that adds dimensions. With just the right balance of lemon, tahini, and garlic, it will outshine any mezza (appetizer), charcuterie board, or even a healthy protein snack. The buttery flavor of the roasted “meaty” flesh of the eggplant complements most meals, or if you’re like me, great as a snack served with pita or naan bread. Enjoy!
Baba Ganoush with Toasted Garlic-Herb Pitas
- 1 Eggplant cut in half lengthwise
- 2 cloves Garlic
- ½ cup Tahini
- ¼ cup Lemon Juice the juice of two lemons
- Zest of one lemon
- Kosher Salt
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Pita or Naan Bread
- Garlic Powder
- Parsley chopped
- Smoked Paprika
- Preheat the oven to 450°. Cut the eggplant ends before cutting it in half lengthwise.
- Using a sharp knife, score the eggplant halves diagonally in one direction. Alter the direction of the score the second time to create diamond patterns.
- Drizzle a generous amount of extra-virgin olive oil to both scored sides, along with a nice pinch of kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Place on the top rack of the oven to cook for 10-15 minutes. We're aiming for a bit of chardness. Alternatively, place the eggplants faced down on a greased grill for a smokey flavor.
- Remove from the oven, and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Using a large spoon, scrape the eggplant, trying to avoid the skin. Place the flesh in a food processor.
- Into a food processor, add the eggplant flesh, tahini, zest of one lemon, juice of two lemons, garlic cloves, and a generous pinch of salt.
- Process until nice and smooth. Check for seasoning. Often I have to add a little more salt and tahini. If you desire more creaminess, add a ½ cup of plain yogurt.
- Into a shallow bowl, smooth the Baba Ganoush, creating a canal indention. Add a few pinches of smoked paprika. Cover and refrigerate. It's often served with a little chill!
- When ready to eat, evenly spread extra-virgin olive oil on the pita or naan bread, along with a few pinches of garlic powder. Toast on the top rack for 1-2 minutes until toasted.
- Slice into triangles, and sprinkles of chopped parsley and flakey salt. Drizzle some olive oil in the cavity of the Baba Ganoush, along with some chopped parsley. It's lemony, garlicky and absolutely delicious. Enjoy!