We all know hummus. We love hummus. Hummus is fine. But you want to know what is better? Baba ganoush is better.
If you think you don’t like eggplant, I am here to politely tell you that you are incorrect. Eggplants are magical because you can turn them into a smokey, creamy dip with a super fun name! Baba ganoush is also incredibly healthy, packed with vitamin C, and lower in calories than hummus. How is that possible when it has so much more flavor? Hummus, you are doing it wrong! Your calorie to flavor ratio should be more like your cousin, baba ganoush! Take a look in the mirror and really think about what you’re doing with your life, hummus.
I planned on making baba ganoush more than a month ago, and I am sorry that I let procrastination get in the way of my own happiness. Baba ganoush is one of my favorite dips. When I eat falafel sandwiches, which happens about once a week, I always ask Sam to pack extra baba ganoush in my pita. He is always like, “it won’t fit,” and I am like, “thats ok! The structural integrity of this sandwich matters not, for I am going to eat it, standing up, right here in Zuccotti Park.” Or I would say that if there wasn’t a line of 20 people waiting behind me. If you are ever in NYC, go downtown and eat Sam’s falafel.
I am sorry. I got sidetracked. Back to baba ganoush!
Here is the truth: I was intimidated by baba ganoush. I was certain any recipe that used the word “char” was out of my league. I was wrong. There’s no story here. No hero’s quest. I tried to make it. It was a smashing success. I ate all the baba ganoush and I am pumped to make more. Here are the recipes I used for this awesome snack. The baba ganoush recipe is from Serious Eats and the pita is a trusted recipe from Paul Hollywood.
3 medium Italian eggplants (about 2 pounds)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice, plus more to taste
3 tablespoons tahini
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
Move the top rack in your oven to about 6 inches from the broiler. Pre heat your oven to broil or broil Hi, if that is an option.
Line baking sheet with tin foil and place eggplants on sheet. Put eggplants in hot oven and broil, turning periodically, for about one hour, until the skin is completely black. Eggplants should be very tender. If a fork doesn’t slip straight through them like a hot knife through butter, they need more time.
Remove from oven and fold tinfoil around eggplants to create a sealed pouch. Let eggplants steam in tin foil for 15 minutes.
Using a knife, slit open each eggplant and remove the skin. Carefully pick out any black pieces from the flesh. Discard skins.
Place eggplant, evenly distributed, in a salad spinner and spin those puppies till they aren’t leaking juices anymore. Discard juices.
Put eggplant in a bowl and mix with the rest of the ingredients using a fork. The fork is the magic wad that will turn your mushy eggplant into an unrecognizable creamy paste. Add salt and lemon to taste. I put an extra clove of garlic in too. Serve with olive oil and hot pita bread.
Fresh Baked Pita
250 grams bread flour, plus extra
5 grams salt
7 grams instant yeast
160 ml cool water
2 tsp olive oil
Put flour in a mixing bowl, with salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl. Add olive oil and a bit of the water at a time. You may need more or less than 160 ml, depending on the humidity in the air, your flour, and the whims of the universe. What matters is texture. Mix with your hand until a dough ball forms. If it is not soft and elastic, add more water. If it is super soggy, you have gone too far and you will want to kneed more flour into your dough.
Mix with your hand until the dough becomes cohesive and smooth, and starts pulling the sticky flour mix away from the sides of the bowl. When it is a silky ball, put it in a lightly oiled, large mixing bowl, cover with a tea towel, and let rise until it is double in size (at least an hour, unless your kitchen is very hot from that broiling eggplant).
Heat your oven to 425 and put a baking tray or baking stone that is lightly dusted with flour in the oven. You want it hot when you put your dough on it.
Lightly flour a clean surface and tip out dough onto it. Knock out all the air and divide dough into 6-8 pieces that are equal in size. Using a rolling pin, roll out each piece until it is about 3 mm thick. Only roll out enough at one time to fill your baking tray/stone. Put pitas right on the hot baking tray and bake for 5-10 minutes, pulling them out as soon as they start showing any color. Place pitas directly into a bowl lined with a tea towel and cover with another tea towel. Trapping the steam will help keep them soft.
Repeat with any remaining dough. Eat within 24 hours. They also freeze well, if you have any left over.
Here are some pins 📌 to save these recipes for later!