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How to Make Baba Ganoush

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Have you ever had baba ganoush before? If you do not know what it is, then know it is a Middle Eastern dip made with eggplant. Basically, it is hummus just with eggplant instead of chickpeas. If you have never indulged in this delicious Mideast dip, then you are in for a real treat with this healthy recipe!


Honestly, for the longest time I thought I did not like baba ganoush (or is it spelled baba ghanoush? baba ghannouj? I don’t know for certain) at all. Every store bought version I’ve ever had was far too watery for my tastes. Whenever I saw baba ganoush served alongside hummus, I always reached for the hummus.


That is, until I tried my hand at making homemade baba ganoush. I know homemade almost always tastes better than the store-bought alternative, but in this case the difference is glaringly obvious. Even if you don’t think you’re a baba ganoush fan, try out this recipe as you may be surprised by how tasty it is.


Recipe: Homemade Baba Ganoush
Ingredients
2 medium eggplant
2 pinches salt
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
2-3 tablespoons garlic (or about 2 whole cloves)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Cumin, to taste
Oregano, to taste
Black pepper, freshly cracked
Cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)


Instructions
Slice the eggplant lengthwise and sprinkle salt and olive oil over each cut side. Poke holes into the eggplant, and then roast in a 375 degree F oven for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the eggplant have browned.


Remove the eggplants from the oven and let cool completely. Then, separate the eggplant meat from the skin, and add the innards into a food processor.


To the food processor, add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, cumin, oregano, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Blend until smooth.


Quick Notes
I normally don’t cook with salt at all because of family health issues. However, for this recipe it is key that you thoroughly dry out the eggplant. Otherwise, you get the dreaded soggy baba ganoush. Also, the holes help to let the steam escape from the eggplant while it’s cooking. Also, if you’ve never used tahini before, all it is is a paste made from sesame seeds.


Variations
If you have absolutely no desire to turn on your oven right now, then you can cook the eggplant slices on the stove top or, even better, on the grill. Also, if you use whole garlic cloves (which is far preferable in the flavor department) then do not even bother cutting up the cloves. The food processor will do that for you. Speaking of which, you can make this in a blender should you choose, but you may need extra liquid to get everything going. If you don’t have an tahini on hand, plain unsalted creamy peanut butter will do in a pinch.


Diet type: Vegan 


Diet (other): Low calorie, Reduced fat


Meal type: snack


Culinary tradition: Middle Eastern


Trust me when I say that this healthy dip is irresistible! The roasted eggplant flavor really comes through with this dip, so if you’re not an eggplant fan this might not be the recipe for you. Naturally, this dip is great with pita or veggies, but I really enjoy it with a morning breakfast. If you’re going to make one baba ganoush recipe, hopefully you choose this one!


Your turn: What is your favorite dip? 

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