Roasted Baba Ghanoush sans the bitters!

Roasted Baba Ghanoush – all images © Juliette Mansour Photography

Baba Ghanoush is a classic mid eastern dip, similar to hummus but made with eggplant. There are a lot of people who don’t like eggplant because of its bitter nature. Growing up, we always had baba ghanoush yet I always chose hummus instead because of this!

I wanted to stay within the realm of the classic recipe but really take that bitterness and aggressively tone it down. So, I experimented a little and was thrilled at the results! It’s a very creamy, roasted dip with ZERO bitterness! Here’s what I did.

The eggplant prep

First, I used smaller eggplants instead of the classic large ones. They have less seeds and therefore, will produce less of a bitter taste to begin with. Slice the eggplants in half and make a criss cross small cuts across the top of each. This will make it easier to scoop out. Soak the eggplants in water for 15 minutes, then squeeze out the water.

Salt the half eggplants with kosher salt, pour olive oil over the small slits, turnover face down on a orating sheet. Roast on high for 5-8 minutes or until it starts really smoking. Turn down to 425 degrees F and cook until eggplant is very soft, about 25 minutes if you are working with small eggplants. Cool slightly. Using spoon, scoop out the eggplant into a food processor.

Transfer eggplant pulp to processor. Add 1/4 cup EVOO, 1 Tbsp tahini, the juice of 1 small lemon, 1/2 clove of garlic – and here’s the variation: 1/2 tsp of freshly grated ginger and 1/2 tsp of brown sugar; process until almost smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to small bowl. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.) Serve with pita wedges.


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