Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Grilled Baba Ghanoush


As I have mentioned before, we started our first "real" vegetable garden this year. One of the crops we planted was eggplant. They are the small Japanese variety. I harvested them all at once, even though some of them were quite small, because I figured I would only have enough to make one dish with them...so, I might as well use them up.
I struggled over what to make, because honestly, I am not the hugest eggplant fan. But, I do love Baba Ghanoush, which is a Middle Eastern dip made from pureed eggplant. It's one of those foods that tastes infinitely better when made from scratch vs. store bought.
Because my eggplants were so small, I decided to try grilling them, vs. charring them over a gas range flame, which saved a lot of time. I also decided to try making a garlic paste to add to the puree, to help the flavors intensify a bit, which it did.

Begin with 1 3/4 pounds of eggplant. It can be any kind you can find, but if you can find little baby ones at a farmer's market, all the better.

Heat a gas grill on high & brush the grates lightly with some oil to prevent sticking. Pierce the eggplants with a fork & place directly onto the grill grates. Let them cook, turning occasionally, until completely blackened & the inside is very soft {about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the eggplants you are using}.
Remove from the grill & set aside to cool completely.

Next you will need 1-2 small cloves of garlic {depending on how spicy you want it}, 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, a 1/4 cup tahini {sesame seed paste} & 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley {plus more to garnish}.

Using a mortar & pestle, crush the garlic & salt together to form a paste. Add the lemon juice & tahini. Continue to mash, until incorporated.
If you don't have a mortar & pestle, you can follow this step using a food processor.

When cooled, cut a slit down the side of each eggplant & scrape the flesh out into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a couple of times. Add the garlic mixture to the food processor with the eggplant & pulse a couple more times, or until blended.

If possible, let the baba ghanoush sit for a few hours, before serving. This gives all the flavors a chance to intensify. Garnish with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil & a sprinkle of minced parsley. Serve with some toasted pita bread triangles.

Grilled Baba Ghanoush

Served 4, as an appetizer
If you don't have a grill, this recipe can be prepared using a broiler, or by charring the eggplants directly over the flame on a gas range. If your eggplants are large, they should be broiled until blackened & then finished in a 400 degree oven, until collapsed & completely softened. I used very small, baby eggplants. So, I cooked mine completely on the grill.
I used 2 small cloves of garlic. But, the heat from the garlic will intensify greatly as it sits. Use as little, or as much, as you desire.


1 3/4 pounds baby, or small eggplants
1-2 small cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini {sesame seed paste}
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
drizzle of olive oil
4-6" toasted pita breads, cut into triangles

Heat a grill on high. Brush the grates lightly with oil, to prevent sticking. Pierce the eggplants with a fork & place directly onto the grill grates. Let them cook, turning occasionally, until completely blackened & the inside is very soft {about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the eggplants you are using}.
Remove from the grill & set aside to cool completely.
When cooled, cut a slit down the side of each eggplant & scrape the flesh out into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a couple of times. Using a mortar & pestle, crush the garlic & salt together to form a paste. Add the lemon juice & tahini & mash it in with the paste. Add the mixture into the food processor with the eggplant & pulse a couple more times, or until blended. If possible, let the baba ghanoush sit for a few hours, before serving. This gives all the flavors a chance to intensify.
Garnish with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil & a sprinkle of minced parsley. Serve with some toasted pita bread triangles.
Click here for the printable recipe.

10 comments:

Joanne said...

these eggplants are such cuties! Baba ghanoush is one of my favorite dips and the smoky flavor from the grill sounds delicious.

Victoria said...

OH MY GOD KATIE THIS FOOD IS AMAZING!!! You did a wonderful job, with this blog, I can't believe I have not been following you since you started. Anyway, I always loved your old fort green apt.. and your glass work in P days were beautiful like your heart..You look awesome, and this is making me want to visit you with ellie even more! can't wait to see/read more here! yay!

kate said...

Thanks Victoria :)

Karen said...

The eggplants are such a beautiful color. I've never made baba ghanoush, but it sure looks and sounds delicious!

Jenna said...

Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments and recipes. Your photography is great and I find myself perpetually bookmarking your pages to cook later. I am looking forward to this one!
Jenna
from http://peacefulvitality.wordpress.com/

Carolyn-What Life Dishes Out said...

I posted a note over at Tasty Kitchen but wanted to comment here as well! This recipe is so easy and awesome and now I finally can have Baba Ghanoush at home that is not just as good as, but BETTER than the restaurants!! Thanks! Do you mind if I share this over on my blog...with a link and credit to you, of course!?!? :-)

kashyakoosh said...

I love to cook with eggplant, I've made baba several times and its always a hit. I make eggplant once a week, esp with grilled fish. The way I make it is I slice the eggplant vertically (japanese or the thai) and sprinkle garlic powder and olive oil on them, then saute them until they are cooked and a bit soft. To serve them up I mix soy sauce and vinegar with a cracked pepper and pour it over the meat of the eggplant. Everyone loves this veg dish, goes really well with almost everything but tastes the best with whole grilled fish.

Anonymous said...

I made your recipe for the second time tonight - it is delicious, and just wanted to pop in and say Thank you!

Truck Accident Law Firm said...

I have always been so intrigued and inspired by this type of ethnic food. I am so excited to try this recipe, and thanks for the excellent photos to go with the post! Do you happen to have the nutrition break down handy? If so, I would love to know what it is ;-) THANKS

marla said...

Great recipe! Will be linking back to this in my post tomorrow.

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