Simple, flavorful, Authentic Baba Ganoush recipe made with smoky grilled eggplant, tahini, garlic and lemon. A healthy, delicious Middle Eastern Eggplant Dip that is full of complexity and depth. Gluten-free, low-carb, vegan.
Preheat grill to medium-high ( see notes for roasting)
Make a foil packet with wood chips for smoking. Wrap ½ cup of wood chips ( mesquite, alder, apple) in heavy-duty foil and pierce the top, creating an opening in the foil so smoke can escape. Place this on the grill. See photos.
With a sharp pairing knife cut 1-2 inch deep slits into the eggplant, all over especially around the bigger bottom area. This will allow them to cook more evenly, and help the smoke penetrate the eggplant.
When the foil packet is smoking, place the eggplant directly on the grill, and close the grill. Turn eggplant every 10 minutes or so and let the skin char. Grill until eggplant has collapsed and feels tender on the inside. This will take about 20 minutes.
Place the eggplant along with the smoking foil packet in a large bowl or large pan and cover tightly with foil. Let sit until cool enough to handle about 20 minutes.
Save ALL the smoky liquid that is under the eggplant in the bowl.Peel the charred skin off the eggplant and using a knife, chop up the tender flesh. Place the eggplant in a strainer and strain the eggplant flesh for 10 minutes. Discard this liquid. (I know this may seem counter-intuitive – but you will be adding some of the “smoky” liquid from the first bowl back in.)
Place the drained eggplant in a mixing bowl. You should have 2 cups (or 2 1/4 cups) of eggplant flesh. If you have less, see notes. Add the tahini paste , garlic, lemon, salt, yogurt and 1-2 tablespoons (or more to taste) of the smoky liquid reserved from the bowl.
Mix, taste, adjust salt, lemon and smoke.
For a delicious richness, add 2-3 tablespoons plain yogurt (optional). Stir with a fork until relatively smooth.
Place in a shallow serving bowl, make a circular “well” with the back of a spoon and drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with your choice of aleppo chili flakes, zaatar spice, or sumac. Sprinkle with fresh herbs. Serve with warm pita bread and/or veggies.
You can also roast the eggplant in a 425 F- 450F oven. Slice in half, lengthwise and roast flesh side down, on a parchment-lined sheet pan until very tender, about 60 minutes. Test by piercing the skin with a fork, and continue roasting until flesh is very tender and collapsing. Scoop out flesh, drain in a strainer for 10 minutes.
Mash with a fork and add the remaining ingredients. To achieve the smoky flavor, add a ½ teaspoon of liquid smoke. (Not traditional, but it does elevate this and works in a pinch. Adjust salt and lemon.
*If you end up with less than 2 cups of eggplant flesh after it is drained, please modify the additional ingredients accordingly. For example, you may not need as much tahini, salt, lemon, etc….
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