It took me a while to get a proper baba ghanoush recipe, bur since then I've found no need for deviation. That is, not until I was dining in a North African restaurant in Granada, Spain and fell in love with a unique version of the spread.
Instead of the smooth eggplant dip that seems to be the norm, I was presented with a chunky mixture with a glossy sheen from the hefty portion of extra-virgin olive oil within. Diced eggplant, peppered throughout the dish, held together just enough to remain whole in the dip, but easily broke apart in your mouth for a creamy texture. The baba ghanoush had the standard tahini, lemon, and garlic flavors, but also packed a punch of heat that elevated the overall experience.
After my initial newfound appreciation for baba ghanoush variations, I started thinking of ways to make some sort of facsimile at home. I ultimately accomplished the task by grilling one eggplant in slices and roasting a second eggplant whole. The former, I diced for the chunky portion; the latter was cooked until completely soft, in order to form the creamy base. From there, I skipped the food processor and only lightly mashed the flesh of the softened eggplant with a whisk before adding in oil, lemon, tahini, hot paprika, garlic, and cumin. I folded in the diced eggplant and let the dip rest in the fridge. An hour later, I was rewarded the spicy, chunky, creamy, smoky, and earthy baba ghanoush I wanted.
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About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.