I absolutely love baba ganoush. I often say that I could live on it, and believe me, if it were eggplant season right now, I would have it almost every day.
It wasn’t always so. In the past I had to ration my beloved baba, saving it up for an occasional treat. My self-denial wasn’t caused by anything wrong with the delicious dip itself–on the contrary, the combination of roasted eggplant, garlic, lemon juice, and just enough sesame paste is very healthy.
The problem was in conveying it to my mouth. In short, baba ganoush allowed me to pig out on bread–pita bread, crackers, or whatever loaf I could find in the house. For someone with a near-compulsive attraction to refined carbs, “a little bread” is just not possible.
But my embargo on baba ganoush ended recently when I found that vegetables are not only capable of delivering baba ganoush to my mouth, but they also taste great doing it. It took me a while to figure this out because I never was a big fan of crudités: I prefer broccoli or cauliflower cooked, and the thought of raw celery makes my teeth hurt. But I can tolerate baby carrots and I love those little grape tomatoes, so all I needed to do was figure out a couple more vegetable dippers that I would like enough not to miss the bread.
I immediately thought of asparagus. Since it’s asparagus season, I’ve been buying loads of it and cooking it several times a week, usually roasted. Roasted asparagus tastes great with everything, in my opinion, so of course it would be wonderful with baba ganoush.
Since I was heating up the oven anyway, I also tossed in a couple of other vegetables: broccoli florets and halves of large mushrooms. Contrary to popular opinion, roasting vegetables does not require a lot of oil.
I just preheat the oven to around 425, put the vegetables into pyrex baking dishes big enough to hold them in a single layer, and give them a quick spray of olive oil. I mean really quick–each pan gets one fast spray from side to side, but you can absolutely omit the oil if you have to. Then I put them into the oven and roast, turning them after about 7 minutes, until they’re tender (in the case of the mushrooms) or just starting to brown. 15 minutes is usually enough time.
Baba ganoush and hummus are perfect companions. Find my easy hummus recipe here.
- 1 large eggplant about 1 1/2 pounds
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 2 cloves garlic or to taste
- 1/4 cup lemon juice or to taste
- 1 tablespoon tahini or to taste
- ground cumin
- Preheat oven to 425 F (or better yet, do this on your barbecue grill!) With a fork, punch a bunch of holes in the eggplant and place it on a baking dish or sheet. Cook for about 45 minutes, until the eggplant is all sunken in. Remove from the heat and let it cool until you can peel it safely.
- Peel and put it in a food processor. Add the salt, garlic, lemon juice, and tahini, and process until it’s smooth. Serve sprinkled with cumin and surrounded by the vegetables of your choice.
Nutritional info is approximate.
CindyDecember 17, 2009 at 9:55 pm
I made this for a cookie decorating party (so I would have something healthy to nosh on instead of cookies) and it was cleaned out in no time. Between bites, the other guests told me, "I usually (chomp) don't like (chomp) eggplant, but this is AMAZING"!
I served it with jicama and baby carrots. The cumin on top is fabulous! And it was so easy. My hubby and I will use it to top pizzas, among other things.
jessicaJanuary 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm
can't wait to make this. looks so easy and yummy. thanks.
KellyzkoolMay 29, 2010 at 2:04 pm
This is sooo good! I didn’t think I like baba ghanoush but had never had homemade. My love of eggplants keeps growing so I’m always looking for new recipes (Susan, your Vegan Eggplant Parmesan is my very favorite). I made this last night while I had the oven on (making the Eggplant Parm!) and although it tasted good, it’s much better today with the flavors blended. I’ve eaten over half of the recipe with a mix of raw cauliflower, celery, red pepper, radishes, and cherry tomatoes. Susan, I know you don’t like raw celery but I think that flavor combination with the baba is fab! The cumin on top was a little spicy so I stirred it in. Also, mine doesn’t look nearly as pretty and white as your pictures, but it tastes so good and is an easy lower-calorie option to my beloved hummus which I struggle to limit portions of. Thanks again for yet another wonderful recipe!
DyanJuly 10, 2010 at 7:04 pm
This recipe is wonderful! It’s so much better than restaurant style- fresher, lighter tasting, and no pools of oil! (And I save the peels to dip in the baba ganoush. Eggplant overkill? No such thing.)
JordanJuly 31, 2010 at 6:08 am
I made a batch of this last night with my homegrown eggplants and ate it with cherry tomatoes, raw broccoli, raw asparagus, and carrot sticks! It was a great dinner for one! 😉
MarianAugust 26, 2010 at 11:42 am
I have heard of this dish but never knew what it was made of – WOW! so simple & it sounds delish – can’t wait to try it!
WendyAugust 26, 2010 at 12:03 pm
I have eggplant now (it’s summer) but I always sweat my eggplant, to make sure that it’s not bitter. You salt it and let it set for 30 minutes, and then rinse salt when finished. This makes some of the water come out and reduces bitterness.
WendyAugust 26, 2010 at 12:09 pm
You might want to sprinkle some paprika on top, that’s how the arabs do it (I’m married to one, lol and we luv our baba).
Kelsey BissetNovember 1, 2010 at 11:56 am
This was delicious! It definitely falls into the category that my husband calls “blending up vegetables to put on other vegetables” but I like that! I started small and ended up using 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1 clove garlic. This was my first successful eggplant dish– I always seem to make it icky somehow. This was delicious– thank you!
Rachel AssuncaoFebruary 16, 2011 at 4:29 pm
I, too, could live on baba ganoush! I almost always have some in the fridge, ready to be spread on whole grain pita, or for dipping veggies.
I learned a trick to incredibly smokey and authentic flavor recently – don’t peel the charred skin. It takes a bit of practice to figure out just how charred the skin should be to give it a smokey yet not burned flavor, but once mastered it’s out-of-this-world delicious.
leaApril 27, 2011 at 11:47 am
This is definitely my favorite eggplant recipe of all time – simple and delicious! I often slice a yellow onion in half and roast it with the eggplant. The roasted onion goes in the food processor first and lends a delicate smoky/sweet flavor (plus I end up with more dip!).
Thanks Susan for another great recipe!
VictoriaMay 31, 2011 at 1:04 am
This was fantastic!
Lisa P.March 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm
Thank you so much for introducing me to the word of Baba Ganoush! I’m thinking of using it as a pizza base tomorrow 🙂
Livie LeonardMarch 31, 2012 at 3:43 pm
I tried this recipe last weekend even though I am not a great lover of eggplant. Even after making it, I wasn’t too sure and left it in the fridge and forgot about it for a couple of days. Just tried with TJs rice crackers. Heaven! So good! Thanks for this recipe and all the other wonderful recipes posted on your site. My vegan journey is getting more solid every day.
AzaharaApril 29, 2012 at 6:04 am
Any ideas why mine doesn’t look white like the one in the picture? I’ve used the same ingredients and followed the recipe to a T, but the result has a greenish-purplish tint to it, so you can totally tell it’s the pulp of an eggplant.
JamieJune 14, 2012 at 7:15 pm
I just made a crock pot version of this recipe and it instructed me to remove the seeds before blending everything. Your recipe doesn’t say to do that and I was wondering if you leave them in. Seemed like I was chucking a lot of good eggplant with those seeds…
Susan VoisinJune 14, 2012 at 8:02 pm
Nope, I have never discarded the seeds. I can see how it would make it less bitter and whiter, but I never go to the trouble. Also, smaller eggplants have smaller and fewer seeds, so I try to use them as much as possible.
JamieJune 14, 2012 at 8:27 pm
That makes a lot of sense. Thank you so much.
SusanJune 27, 2012 at 12:08 pm
Made this dip for a party. It is good and easy. I did removed the seeds …I only used half of a clove of garlic and some powder (my friend is not a fan or slots of garlic$. It is yummy to me. If it is for a crowd double it for sure. Thanks!!
AnnaAugust 19, 2012 at 9:44 pm
The final product was great and delicious but the recipe for me lacked liquid. I ended up adding vegetable broth, otherwise my blender could not process it – it was too pasty and dry for it. Is it possible your eggplant was juiceier? Or is there any other trick to it…Thank you!
Susan VoisinAugust 19, 2012 at 10:01 pm
That’s so strange. I’ve never had to add liquid; in fact, I always try to pour off as much as I can before blending so that it won’t be too watery. But I noticed that you said blender. I’ve only made it in a food processor, never a blender. Perhaps that’s what caused the problem.
AnnaAugust 26, 2012 at 9:33 pm
I totally did not realize you used a food processor. I always use my blender to make hummus – so I did the same here. I just bought more eggpants, so will try to make it in a food processor and will report! Thank you! BTW my 18 mo loved it too!
AnnaAugust 30, 2012 at 5:41 pm
worked great in the food processor!
Carl VaradyAugust 26, 2012 at 7:30 pm
Broiling rather than baking give the eggplant and nice smokey flavor. You can also experiment with tahini alternatives like cashew and sunflower butter if you’re not afraid of the tradition police.
IleneAugust 26, 2012 at 8:25 pm
Here’s a crazy question – can you make it without tahini? I’m allergic to sesame.
Susan VoisinAugust 26, 2012 at 8:31 pm
You can leave it out, but it won’t have as much flavor, so you should add some seasonings, like cumin.
HopeJanuary 31, 2013 at 8:57 pm
Is the tahini at all omitable? Is there anything I can sub?
Susan VoisinJanuary 31, 2013 at 9:05 pm
You can leave it out and increase the seasonings, but it won’t be the same.
TinaFebruary 10, 2013 at 10:25 am
I use this recipe as a salad dressing. Makes eating my green leafies much more pleasurable!
SuzanneAugust 25, 2013 at 1:30 pm
I used this recipe (minus the salt) for lunch today, and it was awesome! My eggplant was about 1.25 pounds, but I used the suggested amounts for all the other ingredients and it tasted just perfect to me! Hubby and I devoured the whole recipe with a platter of celery and carrot sticks, red/orange/yellow/green bell pepper, grape tomatoes, cucumber and banana pepper. Perfect lunch! Thanks so much for a great recipe!!
ColindaFebruary 18, 2014 at 7:45 pm
This is wonderful! First time to make Baba ganoush; could’ve eaten it with a spoon no veggies required. Thanks!
MelissaMay 15, 2014 at 10:21 pm
I LOVE this dip! I have made it a few times. For the amount of time/effort required you get a lot of bang for your buck. I like to slather it on a slice of bread and chow down! I’ll have to try the pizza idea! Thank you, Susan!
VeronicaMay 31, 2014 at 7:54 pm
I love baba! But, I can’t get that smoky flavor making it at home like they do at my favorite Mediterranean place. Will cooking the eggplant on an outdoor grill fix that? Or do you think they add liquid smoke?? I’ve asked, and they say no, but that smoky flavor is so prominent, it makes me wonder. Mine has absolutely no smoky flavor when I bake the eggplant in the oven.
Carl VaradyJune 3, 2014 at 7:11 pm
You can get the smoky taste by broiling rather than baking the eggplant. Use tongs and turn it every 10-15 min until its blackened on the outside. Cut in half and scrape out the fruit. It’ll be smoky as you like.
CynthiaJuly 17, 2014 at 6:13 pm
This was amazing! Instead of using raw garlic, I wrapped some cloves of garlic in foil and put them in the oven with the eggplant. Then I used five cloves of the roasted garlic. I think that added a very nice flavor.
VeronikaMarch 23, 2015 at 3:57 am
I discovered your site after embarking on a low-fat plant based diet, and I love your recipes. Thank you for sharing!
I’ve had store-bought baba ganoush before, but I think I will try making it myself for a change. I’m just wondering – if you happen to know – why the eggplant must be peeled? Is it a flavour or consistency issue? I make grilled eggplant all the time, and I never peel it, so I was a little surprised to see this step in the recipe.
Susan VoisinMarch 23, 2015 at 6:52 am
I think it’s a texture issue. The baba ganoush just won’t be smooth with the peel left on.
Chris SalmassyApril 12, 2015 at 5:35 pm
I found this recipe with a search for baba ganoush without oil. Although it’s called fat-free, tahini is loaded with fat, so it’s not fair or accurate to call this a fat-free recipe (especially when the fat is 30% of the calories).
I cannot have ANY added fat in my “plant perfect” diet (to reverse heart disease), so I will let you know what modifications I make to the recipe.
Cheryl GallionFebruary 3, 2018 at 2:59 pm
Easy enough to make, I used Chinese eggplant because that’s what was at the Farmer’s Market this morning. My first time cooking it- I’m not sure it was cooked enough, it was mushy at the seeds and I had to peel the skin, it didn’t come off like I was expecting. It’s pretty mild, and I’ve tossed it in the fridge for the flavors to mellow. When I find my cumin, I’ll add that, I used it the other day and it’s not where it should be. (maybe the medicine cabinet? refrigerator? lol)