I keep buying eggplant and not knowing what to do with it. I feel like I use eggplant all of the time, but I don’t. In my mind it’s like mushrooms in the sense that it is super substantial and often used as a ‘meaty’ substitute in vegetarian cooking (why is that?) but in the end my uses of eggplant are limited to eggplant parmesan, eggplant with pasta, and asian-style eggplant. While I suppose that’s kind of a bunch of options, I was feeling like trying something a little bit different. So, I decided to make some babaganoush, one of the most classic, hearty dips in my books.
I really think there isn’t anything much better than having a nice, hearty dip hanging out in your fridge to snack on here and there throughout the day. Along with guacamole, tzatziki and hummus, babaganoush stands out in my mind as a dip that I always used to have around the house as a kid. While the other three make very regular appearances in our house, babaganoush is not a typical dip for me to whip together. Even though it requires very little active work, usually, when a craving hits, I want my dip right away. Can’t wait for an oven to heat up. But, with a bit of foresight, I look forward to having this on hand since it ticks all of the “great dip boxes”: great on bread, great by the spoonful, great to dip some carrots into.
Classically, babaganoush is a bit smokey from charring it on a grill or on a gas stove. Back when I had a gas stove, I thought a lot more about this sort of charred vegetable dish, but it worked out just as well without it. While it’s not as smokey, don’t be deterred if you have a regular oven! Everything makes sense when I think about babaganoush: eggplant, parsley, lemon juice, salt and tahini, how can you go wrong? I added the pomegranate seeds for an unexpected bit of sweetness and texture. I decided not to blend the babaganoush, but you can do that if you feel like a super smooth texture. Personally, I like the chunkier texture, which is still very soft since the eggplant is so fully cooked. While you can definitely just eat it slathered on pita, I ate some dolloped on faro with some roasted cauliflower. It just gave an extra something to an otherwise plain dish.
Preheat oven to 500F.
Pierce eggplant a few times, place on aluminum foil lined baking tray and bake until soft, about 20 minutes.
Let the eggplant cool down a bit, cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh. You will have about 1 cup of eggplant
Chop the eggplant and place in bowl. Mix in lemon juice, tahini, parsley, garlic, salt and pomegranate seeds.
Taste and adjust levels of lemon juice and salt to taste.
Babaganoush Recipe was last modified: December 3, 2014 by