Eggplant Dip Recipe

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If you’re among the many people who say they don’t like eggplant, you’ve probably never tried eggplant dip.

Also known as baba ghanoush, baba ganoush, or baba ghanouj, eggplant dip is a traditional Middle Eastern spread made of eggplant, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and salt.

Baba ganoush is thought to have originated in Egypt about 1,000 years ago and spread shortly after to Persia (modern-day Iran), Lebanon, and Syria. 

With a rich flavor, chunky texture, and loads of health benefits, eggplant dip will surely be a repeat in your appetizer lineup.

How to Make Eggplant Dip

Eggplant spread is surprisingly easy to make. While some recipes call for roosting eggplant, we chose to dice it and cook it on the stove. 

Unlike hummus, which is another Middle Eastern dip that is smooth and pureed, baba ganoush eggplant dip is much chunkier. 

While some people half-puree their dip in a food processor so that the eggplant is semi-chunky, we left it entirely whole. We cooked down the diced eggplant on the stovetop, reaching a softer and almost jammy consistency. 

The majority of the work of this recipe comes from dicing or mincing the ingredients. Other than that, you just add them to your saucepan, cook, and wait!

Eggplant Dip Ingredients

Baba ganoush contains eggplant, garlic, lemon, tahini, and salt. We kept it almost entirely traditional, with a couple of slight variations. You can top it with whatever you like, including fresh herbs, crushed red pepper flakes, or toasted sesame seeds.

Eggplant

Of course, eggplant is the star of the show when we’re making eggplant dip! 

There are many different varieties of eggplant, but the one you’ll most often see in the grocery store is the globe eggplant—those dark purple egg-shaped ones.

Globe eggplants (also known as American eggplants) are perfect for making eggplant dip because they are almost meat-like in texture, making for a hearty dip. 

However, eggplants on their own are pretty bland, which is why we add several flavor enhancers, like garlic, shallots, and lemon juice, to make a delicious dip.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes are not a traditional ingredient in eggplant dip, but they add an extra layer of umami flavor, chunky texture, and pretty red coloring. 

The base of traditional baba ganoush is made of the inner eggplant flesh, which is white, beige, or tan, making for a not-so-appetizing color. 

Adding diced tomatoes (and bell peppers, as seen below) turns this eggplant dip into a reddish hue.

Garlic

Garlic is known for its intense and spicy flavor, which turns much milder after it’s cooked. 

It’s a staple in cuisines worldwide—and Middle Eastern is certainly no exception. 

In this recipe, we used four cloves of minced garlic, but feel free to adjust it up or down based on your taste preferences.

Shallot

Shallots are sort of a hybrid between garlic and onions, providing an extra layer of delicate flavor. 

As shallots are pretty similar to yellow onions, you could substitute half of a diced or minced yellow onion if you don’t have shallots.

Lemon

Freshly squeezed lemon juice is a traditional component of baba ganoush, adding a bright acidity that is hard to emulate with other ingredients. 

We used the juice from half a lemon in our tahini topping.

Tahini

Tahini is a ground paste of sesame seeds (similar in texture to natural nut butter) and a prominent ingredient in hummus. 

Many other eggplant dip recipes add tahini directly into the eggplant mixture, but we drizzled it on top instead. Simply mix tahini with lemon juice, water, and salt to taste.

Bell Pepper

Although bell peppers are not traditionally included in baba ganoush, we added them to our eggplant dip for extra color, texture, and nutrients.

Is Baba Ganoush Healthy?

Yes, baba ganoush is considered a healthy and nutritious spread. With the only ingredients typically including eggplant, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, salt, and perhaps some other flavor enhancers, this dip is loaded with nutrients. 

The main ingredient is eggplant, which is low in calories and carbohydrates. While it doesn’t have as many vitamins and minerals as other veggies, it does contain some fiber and potassium. Garlic, shallots, and lemon juice are also nutritious, providing plenty of plant polyphenols and antioxidants that benefit health.

Eggplant Dip Recipe

Eggplant Dip Recipe

With a rich flavor, chunky texture, and loads of health benefits, eggplant dip will surely be a repeat in your appetizer lineup.
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Cuisine Lebanese

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and largely diced (about 1-inch cubes)
  • 5-6 whole tomatoes (ideally beefsteak or heirloom), diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 whole shallot (or ½ yellow onion), diced or minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, largely diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Tahini topping

  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Water (add until desired consistency, approx 2 tbsp)
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh chopped parsley or cilantro (Optional)

Instructions
 

  • Place olive oil and minced garlic in a small saucepan on medium heat and warm simultaneously so the garlic doesn’t burn.
  • Add in shallots once the garlic becomes fragrant
  • Add in eggplant, pepper, and tomatoes
  • Add salt and stir
  • Cover and stir periodically until it reaches a jammy consistency
  • Remove from heat
  • Tahini sauce: mix tahini, water, salt, and lemon and drizzle over top of eggplant dip
  • Optional: top with finely chopped cilantro or parsley
Keyword Dip, eggplant dip
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Eggplant Dip FAQs

Should you soak the eggplant in water before cooking?

It depends on the recipe you are making. Some people find that soaking eggplant before cooking reduces its bitterness and prevents it from absorbing too much oil or water during the cooking process. Another tip is to salt eggplant before cooking (especially if you are doing a fried or pan-cooked eggplant “steak”) to draw out its moisture and close air pockets, resulting in firmer flesh with a creamier texture.

Do you peel eggplant for baba ganoush?

Yes, you should peel eggplant for baba ganoush. You can use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to remove the skin.

Is baba ganoush the same as hummus?

No, baba ganoush is not the same as hummus. Both are dips or spreads commonly consumed in Middle Eastern cuisine. However, baba ganoush has an eggplant base, while hummus has a base of garbanzo beans (chickpeas). Unlike smooth and creamy hummus, baba ganoush tends to be chunkier and not fully blended or pureed.

What does baba ganoush taste like?

As eggplant is pretty mild and bland on its own, baba ganoush typically tastes like the other ingredients you use: garlic, shallots, tahini, and lemon juice.



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