Beautiful globes of eggplant piled high at farmer’s markets and grocery stores always beckon to me. I remember my mom making it when we were young, loaded with lemon, tahini, and more lemon. And then I remember when she didn’t make it anymore because they started selling pre-made baba ganoush at the store, but it was never as good so we just stopped eating baba ganoush altogether except on the rare occasion an eggplant would find its way home with us and we needed to find something to do with it.
I probably went years without having baba ganoush since the Godfather has reservations about eggplant, but I missed it. Sometimes I would buy a small eggplant and make a bitty batch to eat, but this is a food for sharing. It’s for parties, or evenings in with family, or for spreading on a slice of wheat bread, folding in half and eating with your mom in the kitchen on a sunny afternoon.
I recently heard the siren song of the eggplants again and bought a small one, thinking it would be just for me. Imagine my surprise when my little girl asked for some, and then asked for more. So I bought a larger eggplant, and made more, and while she’s still a little young for sandwiches, I shared it with her, sitting in her high chair, on a sunny afternoon, and the happy memory was complete.
This particular baba ganoush recipe is very balanced in flavor, so good for potlucks and parties because it pairs well with pita triangles, crackers, or vegetables. It’s also Whole 30 compliant, making it a definitely not-boring healthy potluck or party dip option. I usually make mine a day or so ahead of time to allow the flavors time to meld and, if it’s for a party, make the day-of preparations less hectic. Enjoy my darlings!
- 1 1/4 lb eggplant
- 2 T tahini
- 2 T olive oil plus a little more for roasting the eggplant
- 2 T fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cloves garlic
- Preheat your oven to 375F.
- Wash and slice the eggplant in half and trim the leaves from the top, drizzle with olive oil and place cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Pierce the skin lightly all around with a fork
- Bake for 40-45 minutes until the eggplant is cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and let sit until cool enough to handle.
- Cut each half of the eggplant into 4-6 sections to fit into your blender or food processor.
- Add the other ingredients and blend until smooth. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week. Flavors will develop and show at their best in a few hours.