Dips are great not just for entertaining but also for snacks anytime of the year. I’m a grazer so dips are perfect. However, we all know that store-bought versions can hide many unwanted calories. Okay, so can homemade but that’s easy to tweak. Baba Ganoush is a delicious eggplant based dip that originated from Lebanon and is enjoyed by many other countries in the Middle East.

There are several variations of eggplants out on the market. I was surprised to learn that technically, it’s considered a fruit and not a vegetable. While I go for the deep purple larger ones for this recipe, I’ve also used the thinner ones if I have them on hand. Eggplants are full of nutrients. No surprise. Also high in antioxidants and a great source of fibre. You can read more about the health benefits here.

Here’s an easy Baba Ganoush that’s my “go-to” recipe that I’ve been tweaking for months. Honestly surprised that my family is still keen on eating it since I make it so often. Thought I’d share it now just in case you need a quick appetizer this weekend that doesn’t get in the way of your Turkey feast.

HOMEMADE BABA GANOUSH (makes approximately 2 cups)

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 1 tbsp roasted garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tbsp Tahini
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce (Tabasco -any flavour works)
  • juice from half a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Cut eggplants in half lengthwise and brush all sides with olive oil. Place flesh side down on a baking sheet (you can line the bottom with parchment paper first). Prick the skin several times with a fork.
  3. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes. When done, remove from oven and allow to cool for  15 minutes while resting on the baking sheet.
  4. In a large bowl, use a spoon to scrape out the roasted flesh. Discard the skin.
  5. Mash up the cooked eggplant in the bowl with a fork. Then add all the other ingredients and combine well.
  6. Serve immediately or cool completely and store in a container in the fridge for up to two days.

Side notes:

Serve with your favourite crackers, pita bread, pita chips or cut up veggies.

You can also grill the eggplants for a nice charred and roasted flavour.

Garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds for a pretty presentation.

Don’t be afraid to adjust the garlic, smoked paprika, hot sauce to your preference. I tend to have a heavier hand with garlic for myself and would increase the amount in this recipe! Hey, it keeps the vampires away!

This dip is also great as a spread in sandwiches.