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Smoky Baba Ghanoush

Smoky Baba Ghanoush

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  • 3 medium eggplants (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon finely grated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Recipe Preparation

  • Arrange a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 450°. Place eggplants on a rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, turning eggplants every 15 minutes, until flesh is completely tender, about 1 hour. Let cool.

  • Set a colander over a bowl. Scoop out flesh and place in colander; discard skins. Let flesh drain, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

  • Transfer eggplants to a medium bowl and mash with a fork. Stir in oil, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Nutritional Content

One serving contains: Calories (kcal) 140 Calories from Fat 80 Fat (g) 9 Saturated Fat (g) 1.5 Cholesterol (mg) 0 Sodium (mg) 125 Carbohydrates (g) 14 Dietary Fiber (g) 8 Sugars (g) 5 Protein (g) 3Reviews Section

Smoky Baba Ganoush

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This smoky, creamy homemade baba ganoush recipe is a fabulous Middle Eastern dip recipe for your collection!

There’s a Mediterranean restaurant near my parents’ house that serves an awesome plate of four different dips (and a big bowl of pita bread). I believe it includes a regular hummus, a spicy hummus, a white bean and rosemary dip, and baba ganoush. They are all good, but I always kind of want to ask if I could just replace the other three dips with more baba ganoush. I love it so much!

I’m obviously a big fan of eggplant in general, as evidenced by my eggplant parmesan and grilled eggplant stacks recipes – I even use it instead of noodles for a gluten free lasagna. (There are actually a lot more things I use eggplant for but I do try to space it out a little so this doesn’t turn into The Eggplant Blog.)

Baba ganoush (or baba ghanoush, baba ganush, baba ghannouj or baba ghannoug–Wikipedia offers them all as options) has a wonderfully complex flavor that makes it seem like a much more elaborate dish than it really is.

If you’ve never had baba ganoush, I highly recommend it! Turns out it’s not terribly complicated to make as long as you know the secret trick to getting that fabulous smoky flavor.


Photo credit: G. Drakopoulos - Food Styling: T. Webb

  • Set the oven to grill or broiler.
  • Place the garlic and eggplants on a baking pan lined with aluminum foil, skin side up.
  • Grill until they soften and are completely cooked through. It should take about 20 minutes for the garlic and 40 minutes for the eggplants.
  • When ready, squeeze the garlic out of the skin and place in a bowl.
  • Scoop out the flesh of the eggplants and add it to the bowl.
  • Add the lemon juice, tahini, white chocolate, half of the parsley, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper to a food processor.
  • Process until the mixture becomes smooth.
  • Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the remaining parsley and pomegranate seeds.
  • Serve with toasted bread of pita bread for easy dipping.

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Smoky Baba Ganoush

Smoky Baba Ganoush is one of those appetizers that basically any time I see it on a menu, I feel the need to order it. The eggplant-based appetizer, originating from Lebanon, uses grilled eggplant, tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice to make a smoky dip that is perfect for outdoor eating.

It’s also a great way to use up a bunch of eggplant if you happen to have a few on hand. There are a bunch of recipes out there for oven roasting the eggplant, but there really is no substitute for the flavor added to the dish by grilling.

Ingredients (serves 4 as an appetizer):

    2 pounds Italian eggplants (

Before grilling your eggplant, pierce the skin of the eggplants with a fork to prevent them from bursting. Add the eggplant to the grill over medium-high heat. Turn the eggplants every 5-10 minutes until the skin is charred, about 30 minutes.

Remove the eggplant from the grill and let cool.

When the eggplants are cool enough to handle, halve each eggplant and scoop out the flesh into a colander. Let drain for 10 minutes. (You want to remove as much liquid as possible.)

While the eggplant flesh drains, add your garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, salt, cumin, and sumac to a food processor. Pulse to combine.

Add in the eggplant flesh and pulse until fully combined.

Transfer to a serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with parsley and more ground sumac, if desired.

I love the texture of baba ganoush. The smokiness of the eggplant works so nicely with the raw garlic, slight heat from the cumin, and the citrus flavor of the lemon juice and sumac.

Ingredients Method

  1. Prick your eggplants on all sides a few times with a fork. Place them on the barbecue and cook them on medium–high heat for 35–40 minutes. The skin will darken a little and begin to smell smoky, but don’t worry – this enhances the flavour of the dip. Set the eggplants aside and allow them to cool slightly.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt.
  3. Slice the eggplants in half lengthways. Drain the excess liquid. Scrape out the flesh with a spoon and add it to the tahini mixture.
  4. Mash the eggplant flesh into the tahini mixture with a fork until it is smooth but with a bit of texture remaining. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature and then stir in the parsley. Drizzle the dip with olive oil and garnish with the extra parsley leaves.

Images and text from Slow Down and Grow Something by Byron Smith with Tess Robinson , Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99, food photography by Rob Palmer

Baba Ghanoush

Note: the written recipe has been improved since the video was originally made: now it’s easier and cleaner.


  • 2 medium-sized eggplants
  • ½ cup of raw tahini
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced (cut very, very small)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper (optional), to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for garnish
  • Fresh parsley, for garnish


1. With a fork, prick a couple holes in the eggplants. Wrap each eggplant in two layers of aluminum foil. Place them directly on a stovetop flame on medium heat for about twenty minutes, rotating every 5 minutes, until they smell very smoky. Or, you can use a grill and skip the foil.

2. Allow the eggplants to cool.

3. Over the sink, unwrap the foil and place the eggplants in a strainer. Peel off the skin with your hands and sliced the eggplants in half. Some liquid will drain out into the sink. Remove the seeds (optional- sometimes the seeds are bitter).

4. Place the eggplant in a bowl. Add raw tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt.

5. Mash with a fork. If it’s too liquidy, add more tahini. Taste and adjust lemon and salt to taste.


Eggplants are the key ingredients, the taste of your dip will absolutely depend on the choice you make. Most people will usually choose big ones, but smaller Italian eggplants have more intense flavor and fewer seeds. Plus, the smaller they are the quicker they cook. Secondly, you surely want eggplants to have a smoky flavor, that’s the key thing about the whole dish! So the best option is to cook them on an open fire. Outdoor grill seems to be perfect, but if you don’t have such an opportunity, an open gas burner, oven or a broiler works well. Make sure they are properly cooked and tender, check it by poking with a toothpick or knife.

Another tricky thing about baba ghanoush. It has to be creamy and tender. How to achieve that? Simply, when mixing all the ingredients, slowly introduce the oil. Drizzle it in slowly, whisking the whole time. The result is a light, creamy and intensely flavored mixture. Enjoy!

Cauliflower Steaks with Smoky Baba Ghanoush

Plant-based steaks are not only delicious and filling, they provide the perfect blank canvas for myriad seasonings and dressings. I have a little shortcut to reduce the cauliflower roasting time: microwave the steaks to soften the inside before blasting them in a hot oven for 20 minutes until crisp and golden. Serve with smoky baba ghanoush for creaminess and a sprinkling of toasted almonds, juicy pomegranate seeds, and fresh herbs for added pops of flavor and texture. You won’t miss the red meat!


for the cauliflower steaks:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, stem removed, then cut into four 3 cm-thick steaks
  • loose florets reserved
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

for the baba ghanoush:

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • pinch of sea salt flakes
  • mint leaves
  • finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • pomegranate seeds
  • toasted slivered almonds (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan-forced) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. To make the baba ghanoush, cook the eggplants directly over an open flame for 10 minutes, turning regularly until the skin is charred and blistered (see Note). Place the eggplants in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to cool. When they are cool enough to handle, peel away the skin and place the flesh in a sieve, pressing on it firmly to strain the liquid into the bowl. Discard the liquid and transfer the flesh to a food processor, add the remaining ingredients and blitz until smooth.
  3. Meanwhile, place the cauliflower steaks and loose florets on a plate and cook in the microwave on high for 6 minutes to soften. Transfer the cauliflower to the prepared tray, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Massage the oil and seasoning all over the cauliflower, then roast for 20 minutes or until golden and crispy.
  4. To serve, spoon the baba ghanoush onto a serving plate, top with the cauliflower, and garnish with fresh herbs, pomegranate seeds, and almonds if using.

NOTE: If you do not have a gas stove, you can cook the eggplants either in a hot frying pan, turning regularly for even cooking, or roast the eggplants in a 200°C (fan-forced) oven for 30–40 minutes until the flesh is soft.

Recipe from Easy Gluten-Free by Helen Tzouganatos, Published by Plum, RRP $39.99, Photography by Jeremy Simons.

Helen is a gluten-free cookbook author, television presenter, food photographer, and recipe developer, obsessed with making delicious gluten-free food from scratch for her family and friends. She loves sharing her passion for food with others …

  • 2 large eggplants
  • ⅓ cup tahini
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons coriander, chopped
  • 1 small red chilli, finely sliced
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Flat bread and veggie sticks, to serve
  • 1 Preheat oven to 180°C and line a tray with baking paper.
  • 2 Using a knife, pierce the skin of the eggplants.
  • 3 Turn on your gas stove burner to high and, using a pair of tongs, place the eggplants over the flame. Turn regularly, charring the skin as you go. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until skin is black and a little flaky.
  • 4 Transfer the eggplants onto baking tray. Place them in oven and roast for 15-20 minutes.
  • 5 Remove them from oven and carefully cut lengthways to cool.
  • 6 In the meantime add tahini, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, coriander and chilli in a blender. Scoop out the cooled eggplant flesh and add it to the blender. Blend on high for 30 seconds until smooth, or simply pulse a few times for a more textured dip. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving dish.
  • 7 Drizzle with a little olive oil and serve with flat bread or veggie sticks.

Variation: Have fun by experimenting with other flavour combos in your garnishes we love some chopped pistachios and a few pomegranate seeds for an extra crunch and that pop of tartness.

Tip: If you don't have access to a gas top stove, skip step 3 and roast the eggplants in the oven for double the time to ensure they're cooked all the way through. You can always add a drop of liquid smoke in step 6 if you're afraid of missing out on that flavour!