If you love eggplant, you’re going to love this baba ghanoush. If you hate eggplant, you’re still going to love this! That’s because our method for making baba ghanoush transforms eggplant into a smokey, mousse-like spread everyone will enjoy. Here’s how to make the best baba ghanoush you’ve ever had.
This baba ghanoush is
Baba ghanoush is great served with pita bread or vegetables like carrots, cucumber, and sweet peppers.
The key to making the best baba ghanoush is developing a smokey flavor. This is done by the cooking process you choose, and each method yields a different result. The way to achieve the smokiest flavor is to roast the whole eggplants over a wood fire. We like to make a fire pit outside. Other methods include cooking them on a gas or charcoal grill. In your kitchen, you can roast the eggplants on a baking sheet in a hot 500-degree oven.
Cook the eggplants whole, and turn them once if you’re cooking over fire or a grill. Cooking times will vary defending on the method you use. They’re finished cooking when they collapse, and are very soft and oozing liquid. The eggplant peel will burn, but you’ll only be using the pulp inside.
Extracting the Eggplant Pulp
Once the eggplants are finished roasting, you’ll want to let them cool so you can remove the pulp. On your cutting board with a sharp knife, slice the eggplants down the center and open them up. Then use a spoon to scrape out the pulp and transfer it to a bowl. Be careful not to get any of the charred peel in the pulp. Inevitably, a few pieces of peel make it into the bowl of pulp, so just inspect the bowl and remove any stray pieces of peel.
How to Make the Best Baba Ghanoush
- 6 large eggplants
- 3 tablespoons tahini (see info about tahini here)
- Juice from 1-1/2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus additional for garnish
- 3 cloves garlic, minced finely
- 10 mint leaves plus 3 more for garnish, minced finely
- Kosher salt to taste (start with 1 teaspoon and adjust after tasting)
- Pepper to taste
- Optional garnish: pine nuts or pomegranate seeds
- Choose your cooking method. Our favorite is to cook the whole eggplants over a wood fire. Other methods include putting them on a gas or charcoal grill. In your kitchen, you can roast the eggplants on a baking sheet in a hot 500-degree oven.
- Cook the eggplants, turning once, until they are collapsed and very soft, about 30 minutes depending on the temperature of your cooking method. To test doneness, a knife inserted into the eggplants will slide in easily. They may be oozing liquid and the peel will be charred.
- Remove the eggplants and put them into a large bowl. Let them sit long enough until they are cool to handle. The eggplants release water as they cool; discard this liquid.
- Slice the eggplants down the middle and scoop out the pulp and transfer to a large bowl. Discard the charred peel.
- Transfer the eggplant into a colander and let drain over a sink, stirring and mashing to get out as much liquid as possible.
- Return the eggplant to the large bowl. Add tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, mint, salt, and pepper. With a potato masher, mash and mix all ingredients until smooth.
- Transfer the baba ghanoush to a storage bowl and refrigerate a few hours. The flavors will develop during this time.
- To serve, spread the baba ghanoush attractively onto a serving bowl. Create ridges with the backside of a spoon. Drizzle with olive oil and extra mint. If you like, top with pine nuts or pomegranate seeds.