Truly the BEST recipe for Baba Ganoush baked in the oven, or grilled (best) with eggplant, tahini paste, garlic, salt and lemon. A delicious Middle Eastern Eggplant Dip that is full of complexity and depth. Gluten-free, low-carb, vegan.
- 2 large eggplants ( 1.5 to 1.75 lbs each)
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced (use a garlic press)
- 4 tablespoons tahini paste
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- optional: 2 tablespoons plain full-fat yogurt
- Preheat grill to medium-high or oven to 425 F
- 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 and 1-2 tablespoons (or more to taste) of the smoky liquid reserved from the bowl.
- Mix, taste, adjust salt, lemon.For a delicious richness, add 2-3 tablespoons plain yogurt (optional). Stir with a fork until relatively smooth. Refrigerate until serving.
Oven Roasting Method:
- Preheat oven to 450F ( 425F if electric oven)
- Slice eggplants in half, lengthwise and roast with flesh side down, on a parchment-lined sheet pan on the middle rack, until very tender, about 45-60 minutes. Test by piercing the skin with a fork, and continue roasting until flesh is very tender and collapsing. Let cool.
- Scoop out flesh, drain in a strainer for 10 minutes. You should have about 2 cups, if less, see notes.
- Mash with a fork and add the remaining ingredients. To achieve the smoky flavor, add a 1/4- ½ teaspoon of liquid smoke.
- Adjust salt and lemon to taste. Stir in optional yogurt.
- 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. then proceed to number 9 in the instructions above.
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