Author Notes: Like hummus, baba ganoush is now offered by many food producers and can be found at almost any grocery store, but nothing quite compares with the homemade and there is no better way to ensure that a dish is made to your tastes than to make it yourself. This eggplant dip is as healthy as it is flavorful. Imagine a smoky spread that is as at once creamy and light, tangy and sweet and as good with warm wedges of pita bread as it is with crunchy crudités.
Here is my recipe for making Baba Ganoush. I like my eggplant smoky, but if the flavor is too strong, you can broil or bake the eggplant on a baking sheet in a 425 degrees F oven for about an hour and then continue according to my recipe directions. Draining well the eggplants is very important, it not only allow you to remove the bitter juices from the flesh, but also control the texture.
In Israel, there's a baba ganoush recipe for every taste. For me, the marriage of creamy mayonnaise with the smoky eggplant is pure comfort-food, equally great as a dip or as a sandwich spread. I also like the slightly spicy and piquant flavor of Pickled Peppadew peppers; they are both, looking beautiful as a little cup for serving the baba ganoush or blended together with eggplants and all other ingredients.
Makes 2 and 1/2 cups
- • 2 medium eggplants (about 1 to 1 1⁄4 lbs each), grilled on a charcoal barbeque or on the stove top
- • 2 teaspoons olive oil for roasting garlic and toasting cumin and coriander seeds
- • 3 large garlic cloves, unpeeled and roasted + 1 raw, smashed
- • 1/4 cup homemade or best quality mayonnaise
- • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
- • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted
- • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- • Freshly squeezed lemon juice to your taste
- • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- • Whole pickled Peppadew peppers for serving or 1/2 cup, chopped, for adding to the eggplant mixture(optional)
- Line stovetop with aluminum foil or burner covers. Turn a burner to high heat and place eggplant directly over burner grate, turning occasionally with tongs until all sides are charred and eggplant is soft, about 5 minutes per side or 15-20 minutes total. When the eggplants are chard, remove to a baking sheet and let cool completely; then remove skin, place in a colander and drain juices as much as you can. I even keep them under a press for some time.
- While the eggplants are grilling, heat oil in a small pan on medium-low, place the 3 unpeeled garlic cloves and roast them until the skin just starts to brown lightly and the cloves are soft; remove and place on a piece of paper towel to cool. Then in the same pan, toast cumin and coriander seeds, stirring with a wooden spoon until fragrant, about 2 to 4 minutes. Cool and then grind in a spice grinder or in mortar and pestle.
- Place eggplant pulp in the bowl of a food processor. Add roasted and raw garlic, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, pepper and the ground cumin and coriander and the chopped Peppadew (if using); process to desired consistency, pulsing 20-30 times for chunkier consistency or blending 15 seconds for smoother results.
- Mix in the thyme leaves; taste and add some more lemon juice and salt, if needed. Transfer to a serving plate, garnish with thyme, and serve with wedges of pita bread. Bon Appetite!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Mayonnaise-Based Salad