Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Baba Ghanoush and Pita

Baba ghanoush is essentially hummus made with eggplant instead of chick peas. The other ingredients are all the same: garlic, olive oil, tahini (ground sesame seeds), lemon juice and salt. I love to make it this time of year because I just can't resist all the pretty purple eggplants that are in season, but it's also a great Middle Eastern dip to make yourself because it's much easier on appliances than chick peas (I burned out the motors of two blenders before realizing you should really make hummus in a food processor!) If you're not up for the DIY version, many brands like Sabra sell it right alongside hummus at the store. Several varieties include mayonnaise though, so watch out if you're looking to keep the meal vegan.

Grocery list
  • Eggplant - 2 medium (about 3 lbs.)
  • Tahini - 2 tbsp. (optional - use more olive oil if not using. It's usually found near the peanut butter)
  • Lemon - juice of 1/2 (or 2 tbsp. bottled juice)
  • Whole wheat mini pitas - 2
  • Garlic - 2-4 cloves
  • Olive oil - 2 tsp.
  • Salt - about 1/2 tsp.
  • Smoked paprika - optional
  • Parsley flakes - optional

Slice each eggplant lengthwise and puncture the outside skin several times. Lay the fruit cut side down on a sheet sprayed with oil and roast under a low broiler for 1/2 hour (or for 1 hour at 400 degrees, although I don't like to leave the oven on for that long when it's hot outside!) Turn the the eggplant to face upwards about halfway through. If you like roasted garlic (it's more mellow) go ahead and throw the cloves in at this point.

It's best to let the eggplant cool completely. When it's ready to handle, peel off the skin and press out most of the liquid (it can give the dip a bitter taste; use a towel if you need to.) Now for the easy part - put everything in the blender! I like to add the garlic one clove at a time at the end to get the right flavor. And of course, add more of any ingredient until you get a taste you like!

Pack it in a small container. I topped mine with smoked paprika and parsley flakes for effect, but they're optional. Add a plastic bag with two sliced mini pitas and you're good to go! It's also great on bread (or a bag of pita chips from the vending machine if you're desperate.)

Yield: about 3 cups, or 6 servings
To bring: small container and plastic bag

Questions about the cooking method? Please let me know in the comments! 


  1. YUMMM...I love pitas and hummus or baba ghanoush! Such a great snack. I've made hummus but didn't love the way it turned out, so maybe I'll have to try this sometime. Looks delish :)

  2. I love baba ghanoush and yours look very apetizing.

    I have never tried roasting the eggplant halves, I usually place the eggplants under the broiler for a very long time, I should try your method next time. Thank you for sharing.

  3. It's funny. I just made Baba Ghanoush - getting ready to post it. I like your blog. Great photos and meal ideas. Thanks for sharing!