Old School Middle Eastern Recipes with Some Modern Day Twists

Tag: eggplant

Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Salad

Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Salad

Hello! It’s been a sec here at Three Teas Kitchen since we have last posted – but that does not mean we haven’t been eating well, this Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Salad included! This salad is a lovely medley of fresh summer produce and warm Moroccan […]

Akil Majnoon (Braised Vegetable Stew)

Akil Majnoon (Braised Vegetable Stew)

Cauliflower, eggplant and cabbage braised in a tomato based sauce is the basis of Akil Majnoon. The warm spices of bahar, make this such a cozy winter meal. Naturally vegan, it is just as much considered comfort food like Basalia and Bamia and is recipe […]

Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush

It hard to come by a Middle Eastern mezze spread that does not include Baba Ganoush. This is a good thing because it truly is one of the best dips out there. The combination of grilled eggplant, tahini, garlic, and lemon create flavors that burst in your mouth and get you thinking “what the heck is in this dip?!”

The trick to making great Baba Ganoush is grilling the eggplant, providing its’ trademark smokey taste. It is also helpful to sieve the grilled eggplant through a mesh strainer to remove any additional liquid and concentrate the eggplant flavor.

For the number of times I have eaten Baba Ganoush, I have a newfound appreciation for it now that I make it myself. When I first started making Baba Ganoush I tried to roasting and broiling the eggplant in the oven rather than grilling it. While it still makes a tasty eggplant dip, it lacks that signature smokey flavor, and taste like a completely different dip.

I think back to all the times I had my Nana’s or Mom’s Baba Ganoush and am impressed that every time the dip was effortlessly spot on. Interestingly enough, I don’t recall ever seeing them grill the eggplant, and assumed they were able to create this flavor profile in the oven. WRONG. When I asked my mom recently she said, “of course we grilled the eggplant.” Well I guess the term “ignorance is bliss” does not apply here, and I am so happy to now be in the know!

Baba Ganoush

A smokey, silky, Middle Eastern eggplant dip with a punch of flavor.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 12 people

Ingredients
  

  • 3 medium sized eggplants
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 3/4 tsp salt, more or less to taste
  • 3 medium lemons, juiced

Instructions
 

  • Coat each eggplant with olive oil to avoid sticking to grill.*
  • Puncture the skin of each eggplant a few times. Each puncture should be roughly 1". This will prevent it from bursting when on the grill.
  • Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  • Place eggplants on grill. Rotate about every 10 minutes until equally charred on all sides. This should take about 30 minutes.
  • Remove eggplant from grill and cover in foil for about 15 minuets to help concentrate the smokey flavor from the grill.
  • Open from foil and cut eggplants in half lengthwise. Allow to cool enough so that you can handle it with you hands.
  • Once cooled, scoop out flesh of eggplant with a spoon and place in a metal sieve. Make sure to remove any residual bits of skin from flesh. Press down on sieve to remove excess liquid and to further concentrate the eggplant flavor.
  • Place eggplant into mixing bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher.
  • Add tahini, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and salt to eggplant and whisk with fork until smooth. Adjust salt to preferred taste.
  • Place in fridge to fully cool.
  • When ready to serve, decorate with olives, olive oil, parsley and/or paprika. Serve with pita bread, pita chips, crackers or vegetable crudités.

Notes

*Some people prefer to use an oven rather than the grill and use liquid smoke to create the smokey flavor. If you prefer to do that (although the grill is ideal!), roast the eggplant in a  400F degree oven for about 40 minutes. Follow steps 1-2 and then 6-11. Add a teaspoon or so of liquid smoke to the eggplant mixture when mixing. Adjust to taste. 
Keyword dip, eggplant, tahini, vegan