Baba ghanoush is a roasted eggplant dip popular in the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. It is commonly known to have tahini as an ingredient, but you can make baba ganoush without it. Actually, not all baba ghanoush recipes call for tahini. Like most ethnic recipes, there is a myriad of local and regional variations, and there's not really one right or wrong way to prepare this dish. The only truly essential ingredient in baba ghanoush is eggplant (which is roasted to achieve the dish's signature smoky taste). Everything else varies from recipe to recipe.
This baba ganoush recipe has no oil and no tahini, making it a fat-free vegetarian and vegan appetizer or dip that you can enjoy anytime. In addition, all of the ingredients are gluten-free, but you will probably want to read the ingredients on your onion powder carefully to see if there are any gluten-containing hidden additives.
- 2 medium-sized eggplants
- Optional: olive oil for drizzling
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 5 cloves minced garlic, preferably roasted
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Slice each of the eggplants in half and pierce with a fork in several places. Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until soft. If you're not worried about added fat, you can drizzle the eggplants with a bit of olive oil first.
- Once the eggplants are soft, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Scoop out inside of eggplant into the bowl of a food processor or blender, discarding the skin.
- Process eggplant with remaining ingredients until smooth. You can also mash all the ingredients together with a fork if you prefer a slightly chunkier texture.
Although baba ghanoush is traditionally a dip (or meze), it can be eaten any number of different ways (including out of a bowl with a spoon!). Of course, it is perfect as part of a meze platter with other dips and pita bread, but you can also use it as a sandwich spread. Slather a little baba ganoush on a flour tortilla with some lettuce and veggies for a quick and healthy low-fat vegetarian wrap—a perfect light lunch or a big snack. You can also use it in place of your usual condiment on a chicken sandwich (if you are not vegetarian)—add avocado and tomato for even more flavor and color.
If you prefer a more hummus-like baba ghanoush, try baba ganoush hummus.