Suddenly the eggplants in the garden have found their mojo and are producing so many eggplants. It has me scrambling to find different ways to prepare them. Today they are grilled and the flesh is combined with tahini. It is another lovely mezze or tapas dish, or an any-time snack with flatbreads. You will love this. A take on Babaganoush, it is rich, smoky, and creamy.
You can grill/bake the eggplant in several ways. Cook it under the griller, turning often until the skin is blistered and blackened, and the flesh is soft. Or it can be cooked over a gas flame in the same way. But my favourite way is to grill it whole in a covered BBQ (grill) until the skin is blackened and the flesh collapsed. It is the easiest and quickest way at our place.
BTW, the addition of tahini is controversial – some add it, making it taste more like hummus, and some leave it out but add a little more oil. We are using it here, but if you are thinking of pairing it with hummus, you might consider making the Babaganoush without it.
Are you looking for other Eggplant recipes? Try Eggplant with Coriander, Smoky Aubergine with Tahini and Pomegranate, Bengali Eggplant Puree, Eggplant Simmered in a Beautiful Broth, Grilled Eggplant Salad with Pinenuts and Pita Chips, and Deep Fried Eggplant.
Is it Dip Recipes that you are looking for? Try Zhug – Coriander-Walnut Dip, Georgian Coriander, Apricot and Walnut Spread, White Bean, Sage and Roasted Garlic Spread, Tomato and Chilli Jam, and Tahina Tarator.
Roasted Eggplant with Tahina | Babaganoush
1 large eggplant
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tblspn lemon juice
3 Tblspn extra virgin olive oil (sometimes I like to use Indian light sesame oil)
1 -3 Tblspn tahini, to suit your preference
sea salt to taste
mint or parsley (optional)
cumin or chilli powder (optional)
extra virgin olive oil
Roast the whole eggplant over an open gas flame, under the grill, in the oven or on the BBQ (grill) until the skin blisters and chars, and the flesh is soft and collapsing.
Remove the flesh from the skin and place in a sieve or colander. Gently squeeze the flesh to remove as much juice as possible.
Put the eggplant flesh in a bowl and mash with the garlic, lemon juice, oil, tahini and salt to taste. Add one ingredient at a time, beating well in between. As you add the tahini, the mixture will become pale and creamy. Add 1 Tblspn at a time until you reach the level of tahini you want.
Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with chilli or cumin powder and/or mint or parsley (see below for alternative toppings).
Serve with warm pita bread, Middle Eastern flatbread or vegetables for dipping.
recipe notes and alternatives
Mint and/or parsley can be chopped finely and added to the babaganoush.
Sometimes I add a lot of tahini, sometimes only a spoonful. Feel free to vary the amount.
1 – 2 Tblspns plain yoghurt can be stirred through.
You can blend it in a food processor if you prefer a smooth puree.
Toppings for Babaganoush
In many places it is common to add toppings to babaganoush. Pomegranate seeds are fairly traditional, but don’t be constrained in your choices. Here are some suggestions – use one, or choose several and add in combination.
- pomegranate kernels
- finely chopped soft herbs
- chilli flakes
- sesame seeds
- olive oil
- crushed almonds and/or hazelnuts
- grilled zucchini slices
- shaved fennel
- roasted carrots
- roasted tomatoes
- toasted pine nuts
- crispy fried onions
- charred red, green or yellow capsicums
- hazelnut oil
- avocado oil
- turmeric oil
- diced cucumber
- sour grapes (from Middle Eastern groceries)
- chilli paste or chilli jam
- tamarind syrup
- feta paste
- this lemon-chilli paste
Do you have any other ideas and suggestions?