Baba Ganoush is a popular eggplant dish in Israel
Baba Ganoush, or Baba Ghanoush (Ganouj), is generally served before a meal in Israel as an appetizer or as an afternoon snack. This delicious dip is also called “Salat Hatzalim” or Eggplant Salad, and features mashed/cooked/smoked eggplant mixed with tahini and various seasonings and toppings. With roots in the Middle East/Levant region, including Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, each version is slightly different but retains its base of eggplant and tahini.
Think of Baba Ganoush as an alternative to Hummus, where the chickpeas have been replaced by eggplant. High in Vitamin C and anthocyanins, Baba Ganoush can support your immune system and heart health if eaten on a regular basis. It also has lower calories than hummus as well. No wonder it is such an important part of the Israeli Mediterranean Diet.
The traditional preparation method is for the eggplant to be baked or broiled over an open flame before peeling. This gives the pulp a soft and smoky taste. Persian Gulf variations vary slightly with the addition of coriander and/or cumin. In Israel, some eat it with mayonnaise as a replacement for the tahini. We opt for the healthier version here.
Effortless and Enticing Baba Ganoush Recipe
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (includes simmering)
Cooks in: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 30 minutes
- 1 1 lbs eggplant
- 1 teaspoon minced parsley
- 1/3 cup pure tahini
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
- Bake or broil the eggplant over an open flame or in the oven, peel when very soft (~25-30 minutes in oven) Important Note: Allow eggplant to cool after removal from flame/oven. The eggplant will be very hot and you won’t want to burn yourself
- While your eggplant is cooking, smash the garlic, chop up the parsley and squeeze your lemon juice
- Once eggplant is done and peeled, place in a food processor with lemon juice, smashed garlic, salt, tahini. Pulse until consistency desired is reached. We like it a bit chunkier but smooth works as well for dipping pita bread
- Taste and adjust salt and lemon to taste
- Pour neatly into a serving dish and garnish with chopped parsley and sesame seeds
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Baba Ganoush is generally served before a meal in Israel as an appetizer or as an afternoon snack.