I have some very fond memories eating baba ghanoush…
While traveling through Nepal, the husband and I spent a lot of time in Kathmandu. In this amazingly overwhelming capital city, lives a magical little upstairs corner restaurant that serves fresh raw vegetables (that won’t kill you!), soft fluffy pita bread, and the most incredible baba ghanoush EVER.
After several weeks trekking in the Himalayas and recovering in the plains of Chitwan National Park, we ended our stay in Kathmandu (my favorite city EVER). For more than a week we explored the local UNESCO world heritage sites and ate at our favorite little Israeli restaurant EVERY SINGLE DAY stuffing our faces with hummus, pita, and baba ghanoush.
Then, after I got pregnant, we decided to go out for dinner after our 12 week appointment. This was a BIG appointment for me. I would hear the heartbeat and finally know I was actually pregnant (because a million positive pregnancy tests didn’t count). We celebrated with baba ghanoush and other amazing Lebanese dishes- ordering too much, as usual, and eating it all, as usual.
Basically, baba ghanoush and I go way back.
So what is baba ghanoush? To be honest, I wasn’t really sure of the exact definition, so off to Wikipedia I went.
According to Wikipedia, Baba Ghanoush is “…a dish of cooked eggplant, mixed with onions, tomatoes, olive oil and other various seasoning”.
So now I’m confused- tomatoes? onions? I’ve never eaten that type of baba ghanoush.
So I kept reading, “A similar dish, with mashed eggplants and without other vegetables, is known as mutabbal in the Levant and in Armedia but is called baba ghanoush in Egypt”.
In other words, baba ghanoush (or mutabbal) is basically baked, grilled or broiled eggplant with tahini, fresh lemon juice, salt and garlic.
It is AH AH AH-MAZING!. And the perfect creamy party dip or healthy snack.
- Preheat oven to high or medium broil and place oven rack at the top of the oven.
- Using a large knife, slice the eggplant into 1/4" rounds and place them in a large colander in the sink. Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and allow it to sit for approximately 10-15 minutes, draining any excess fluid. Slightly rinse the eggplant to remove excess salt and pat dry with a towel.
- Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and a small pinch of salt. Roast in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, flipping once or twice. Continue cooking until eggplant is soft and golden brown. When ready, remove from the oven and stack the eggplant on top of each other making a tower. Tightly wrap in foil and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes to lock in moisture and finish cooking.
- Remove eggplant from foil and peel away the skin (this should be very easy). Place eggplant in the bowl of a food processor and add the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, parsley and a pinch of salt. Pulse until creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed (I typically add extra tahini).
- Serve with pita bread, veggies, and crackers. Refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
Adapted from recipe HERE