I have to make a confession. I don’t like hummus. I know big shock, how can I hate that creamy chickpea spread which seems to be ever popular wherever I look.
It doesn’t make sense honestly, I grew up with fresh hummus my mother would make on a fairly regular basis. She would make a huge quantity, whistle out a loaf of sour dough bread and see the hummus inside with the broken up bread pieces used to scoop up the stuff by the mouthful.
I would lap it up happily, however something changed. Perhaps its just what happens as one gets older, I also have a thing against blueberries and raspberries.
Whatever the reason I don’t touch hummus any more but I do still have an affinity for its cousin, Baba Ganoush. I think I love it more because it is made with eggplant and I will pretty much eat anything with eggplant in it.
Baba ganoush is pretty straight forward. You roast or grill an eggplant or two, blend the “meat” with a couple other ingredients and bam! you have a whole bowl of deliciousness.
There is also a very, very similar eggplant dish called mutabbal which uses anar seeds instead of cumin, it is said to be a spicier version of baba ganoush. There seems to be some confusion over which is which, some people might say that what I think of as baba ganoush is in fact mutabbal and vice versa.
I can’t figure out why this is but all I know for sure is my recipe has always been called baba ganoush by everyone I know. Baba ganoush is often served as meze, otherwise known as an appetizer. Pita bread or khubz ( type of flatbread) is served to eat it but vegetables can also be added to a platter.
This is the perfect finger food type dish to bring to a picnic or barbecue. You could also turn it into a light meal by adding some type of protein. Kebobs, grilled meats or tofu, shrimp or cold cuts would be perfect to make it a balanced meal.
This definitely reminds me of childhood and all the great Middle Eastern foods I was introduced to and still enjoy to this day.
- 1 Large or 2 small eggplants
- 2 Tbsp olive oil plus some for roasting eggplant
- 3 Cloves garlic
- 3 Tbsp tahini
- 1 Lemon
- 1 Tsp cumin
- ½ Tsp cayenne or paprika
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Parsley, chopped
- Mix of vegetables, flatbreads or crackers
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Poke eggplant all over and slather in olive oil.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes depending on size of eggplant.
- Rmove and place in a glass bowl, cover with cling wrap and wait to cool.
- Once cooled remove skin and add the inner meaty part to a food processor or blender.
- Add in all other ingredients except for parsley and vegetables.
- Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the ingredients as needed, you may find you need more tahini or more spice it will depend on your preferences.
- Chill for a few hours or overnight. Serve with a mix of vegetables and crackers to dip.