The Best Baba Ganoush Recipe

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The Best Baba Ganoush Recipe

[Photograph: J. Kenji López-Alt]

Baba ganoush, a Middle Eastern eggplant- and tahini-based dip, takes on a concentrated smoky flavor when the eggplant is first charred over a gas flame or on the grill (a broiler works, too), then spun in a salad spinner to remove moisture from the flesh. Slowly emulsifying the olive oil with the tahini and eggplant mixture gives this vegan dip a creamy yet varied texture.

This baba ganoush can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Let it come back to room temperature before serving.

Why It Works

  • Charring the eggplant over high heat infuses the baba ganoush with plenty of smokiness.
  • A salad spinner is the quickest and easiest way to remove moisture from the cooked eggplant flesh, concentrating its flavor.
  • Emulsifying the eggplant, tahini, and olive oil by hand, instead of using a food processor, produces a chunkier dip with pleasant textural contrast.
  • Yield:Serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer
  • Active time: 15 minutes
  • Total time:45 minutes (1 1/2 hours if using a broiler)

Ingredients

  • 3 medium Italian eggplants (about 2 pounds/900g total)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) juice from 1 lemon, plus more as desired
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) tahini
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Kosher salt

Directions

  1. 1.

    If Using a Gas Burner or Grill (recommended): Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium heat and place eggplants directly over heat source. Cook, turning occasionally with tongs, until eggplants are completely tender and well charred on all sides, 30 to 40 minutes. Wrap with foil and let rest 15 minutes. Continue to step 3.

  2. 2.

    If Using the Broiler: Adjust rack to 6 inches below broiler element and preheat broiler to high. Place eggplants on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Broil, turning occasionally, until charred on all sides and completely tender, about 1 hour. Eggplants should be very, very tender when cooked. Test near the stem and bottom ends; if a toothpick or skewer meets any resistance, continue cooking. Remove from oven and gather up foil, crimping it around the eggplants to form a sealed package. Let the eggplants rest for 15 minutes. Continue to step 3.

  3. 3.

    Open foil package. Working with one eggplant at a time, use a sharp paring knife to slit each eggplant open lengthwise. Carefully scoop out soft flesh with a large spoon and transfer to a strainer set in a large bowl. Once all eggplant is scooped, pick out any stray bits of skin and blackened flesh and discard.

  4. 4.

    Transfer eggplant to a salad spinner, distributing it evenly around the perimeter. Spin gently until all excess moisture is extracted. Discard all drippings, wipe out large bowl, and return eggplant to bowl.

  5. 5.

    Add garlic and lemon juice to eggplant and stir vigorously with a fork until eggplant breaks down into a rough paste, about 1 1/2 minutes. Stirring constantly and vigorously, add tahini, followed by the olive oil in a thin, steady stream. The mixture should become pale and creamy. Stir in parsley and season to taste with salt, plus more lemon juice if desired.

  6. 6.

    Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and serve with warm pita bread or vegetables for dipping. Baba ganoush can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Let baba ganoush warm to room temperature before serving.