There’s nothing like a good dip to dunk your veggies in or spread on your sandwiches. I’ve always been a big fan of hummus, but baba ganoush is quickly nipping at its heels.
What is baba ganoush? It’s a classic Middle Eastern dip originally from Lebanon, though it’s popular and made throughout the region, including in Iraq, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Palestine. It’s quite similar to hummus; both dips use a hefty amount of garlic and ground sesame seeds, or tahini, for a lot of the flavor. Baba ganoush, however, uses eggplant instead of chickpeas as the main ingredient.
Because nutrition-rich eggplant is low in calories and high in fiber, it’s a great choice in a dip. Additionally, eggplant is rich in nasunin, which is found only in deeply colored fruits and veggies. This powerful antioxidant, which is found in eggplant’s skin, is known to fight free radical damage and inflammation while protecting DNA from oxidative stress.
What Goes Best with Baba Ganoush?
If you’re wondering what to eat baba ganoush with, the answer is: Get creative! Like most dips, baba ganoush is excellent with crunchy veggies, like carrots, celery or bell peppers. It’s also excellent as meze, or an appetizer, when served with warmed pita bread. I also enjoy spreading it on sandwiches as a spread instead of mayonnaise, and adding a dollop to salad is tasty, too. And, of course, sometimes you just want to eat baba ganoush with a spoon and nothing else — totally fine!
How to Make Baba Ganoush
Making baba ganoush is pretty simple. All you need is a food processor and 10 minutes!
Start by lining a baking sheet with parchment paper and lying the eggplant slices on it. Salt the eggplant and allow it to sit for 15–20 minutes. Because eggplant is naturally high in water, this step will draw out the vegetable’s moisture so you don’t wind up with a runny baba ganoush.
Use a paper towel to dab the excess water off the eggplant, and then slide the eggplant under the broiler for 5–8 minutes. This extra step adds a smoky flavor to the eggplant, which will really come through in the baba ganoush.
At this point, you can remove the eggplant’s skin, but I prefer leaving it on for all the healthy benefits that come along with it.
Next, add the eggplant to the food processor and pulse until you’ve broken the vegetable down. Add in the other ingredients and blend until they’re well combined.
If you haven’t used avocado oil yet, this is a great recipe to try it in. Avocado oil adds just the right amount of smooth texture and flavor without overpowering the other ingredients, the way olive oil can sometimes do. It’s also versatile and especially great for cooking at high temperatures because of its high smoke point.
That’s all there is to homemade baba ganoush! Serve it with chopped veggies or my earlier suggestions.
As you get more comfortable making this baba ganoush, you can mix up the ingredients a bit; add more garlic, a little hot chili pepper for spice, different herbs — this is a very forgiving recipe that makes it easy to love the dip.
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