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Baba Ghanouj (Eggplant & Tahini Purée)

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Serves six to eight.

  • Make the menu:
    A Middle Eastern Buffet
  • by Fine Cooking staff from Fine Cooking
    Issue 10

The most important part of this dish is roasting the eggplant. You can do this on a gas stove-it makes a mess, but the flavor can't be beat. Other options are on a grill, under a broiler, or in a hot oven. The oven is least preferable because it can't give the eggplant the desired slightly charred flavor.

  • 3 lb. eggplant
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame-seed paste)
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

To roast the eggplant, set each eggplant directly on the flame, grill, or grate. (If you're using the oven, set a tray on the rack under the eggplant to catch any drips.) The eggplant will start to crack and give off juices; it should become an ashy grayblack. Turn it as it cooks, but be careful-as it softens under heat, it becomes difficult to move without splitting. When the eggplant is charred gray and very tender all the way through, transfer it to a plate to cool.

Slice off the top of the cooled eggplant, and then cut it in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to carefully remove all the pulp, but avoid any bits of blackened skin. With a fork, stir the eggplant to break up large pieces and add the rest of the ingredients. Taste as you mix and adjust seasoning. Turn the baba ghanouj into a bowl and chill before serving.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 140; Fat (g): 9; Fat Calories (kcal): 84; Saturated Fat (g): 1; Protein (g): 4; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3; Carbohydrates (g): 14; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4; Sodium (mg): 280; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 6;

Positively Awesome! Very simple and gets rave reviews. People will tell you its better than that restaurant down the street. I grilled the eggplant on a gas grill....easy, can walk away from it and do other tasks.

Super easy, works great on the grill. I made it with pita bread cooked on the grill, great when it's too hot to turn on the oven. (I strained the cooked eggplant in a sieve first to get out extra water)

This was my first attempt at Baba Ghanouj (after an unsuccessful try at a similar recipe from FC). Excellent! Basic, easy and fantastic. Will definitely do again when eggplant is in season.

I made a middle eastern feast for a baby shower recently and had never even cooked most of the foods! I used many recipes from this month's issue, including this one. Everyone RAVED about the Baba Ghanouj. I did do one thing differently however. I cook on a gourgous vintage 1940's stove, so I have a broiler at the bottom that does not give me a lot of broiler room. I cut the eggplants in half, coated them with olive oil and sea salt, and roasted 20 minutes skin side up, and then turned them over for about 10-15 minutes and caramelized the cut portion of the eggplant. It added the most awesome sweet caramelized eggplant flavor, with nice little dark flecks, and I will definitely do it this way again!

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