I love Middle Eastern food and rarely get to eat it since we live in central Kansas. Unfortunately most of my attempts to replicate restaurant versions of falafel and tabboulah have not worked out. However, after a few tries I’ve perfected this delicious roasted eggplant dip or “baba ganoush”. Although the traditional method is to roast the eggplant slowly intact and scoop out the flesh, I rarely have the time or patience for the process. In this recipe I cheat by chopping the eggplant and cooking in a cast iron skillet on the stove. High heat and the heavy pan preserve the signature smokiness of the dish.
The dip is usually served with pita, but we’ve been devouring it with mini sweet peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas. Pita chips would also work as a dipper if want some crunch. The dip can be served warm or cold and can be used in place of hummus on wraps, etc.
1 Medium Eggplant, Peel and Chopped
1 T. Regular Olive or Avocado Oil
1/4 t. Sea Salt
4 T. Lemon Juice (fresh is best for flavor)
1 T. Tahini or 1 t. Sesame Seeds
1 Clove Garlic, Minced
Pinch of Cumin
Pinch of Cayenne
1/4 t. Smoked Paprika
2 T. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (plus extra for drizzling)
2 T. Plain Greek Yogurt
Toasted Pinenuts, Parsley, Smoked Paprika and EVOO for Topping
In a cast iron skillet or pan heat oil on medium-high heat. Add eggplant and cook for 5-8 minutes on a hot pan until soft and some pieces are a bit charred. Remove from heat and let sit while preparing other ingredients.
In a blender or food processor add salt, lemon juice, tahini, garlic and seasonings. Add warm eggplant and blend until smooth. Add EVOO and yogurt. Blend until combined. Place dip into a serving dish and finish with toppings.
Dip can be store in the refrigerator without toppings for up to five days.
Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups of dip and can be easily doubled.