Baba Ghanouj

Middle Eastern Eggplant Puree With Tahini

Preparation info

  • Makes about

    2½ cups

    puree
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

This Middle Eastern puree is voluptuous and silky in texture because of the tahini. To borrow a wine term from my son the sommelier, it has “mouth feel.” While you can make a meal of this slathered on warm pita bread, for a little snack try baba ghanouj with crisp fresh vegetables; they are a good contrast to its smoky richness.

Ingredients

  • 2 large or 3 medium eggplants
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, very finely minced
  • ¼ cup sesame tahini, stirred well
  • ¼ cup (or to taste) fresh lemon juice
  • Salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons cold water if needed
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish
  • Pita breads (see Note) or cucumber strips, radishes, green onions, and carrot strips for serving

    Method

    Preheat the broiler or heat a heavy griddle over medium heat.

    Broil the eggplants or grill on the griddle, turning frequently, until charred all over and very soft, about 20 minutes under the broiler or 10 to 15 minutes on the griddle. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Carefully remove the skin, making sure none of the charred skin gets into the eggplant pulp, and drain them in a strainer.

    Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet over low heat. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two to remove its bite. Do not let it brown!

    Coarsely puree the eggplants in a food processor or chop with a knife. Add the tahini, lemon juice, and garlic and process just until blended, or beat into the eggplant puree with a whisk or electric mixer. Season to taste with salt. If it’s too thick, whisk in a little water and/or olive oil. Add more lemon juice if needed.

    Pour the baba ghanouj into a shallow bowl and sprinkle with the pine nuts and parsley. Serve with the pita or cut raw vegetables.