Smarter Living: Recipes

baba ghanoush

Photo: svacher/Flickr

This wildly popular smoked eggplant dip, originally from Lebanon, is a delicious appetizer that is commonly spread on warm pita bread. The following recipe is the Turkish style of baba ghanoush called patlıcan salatası (meaning “eggplant salad”) that is mashed instead of cut, then mixed with various spices and drizzled with olive oil. The complex creamy, smoky flavor of this vegetarian dip will have everyone coming back for more.

Serves 6


  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1/4 cup tahini (roasted sesame paste)
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 pinch ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup brine-cured black olives, such as kalamata olives (optional)


Prep Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 35 mins

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Prick the eggplant a few times, then char the outside of the eggplant by placing it directly on the flame of a gas burner. As the skin chars, turn it until the eggplant is uniformly charred on the outside. (If you don’t have a gas stove, you can char the eggplant under the broiler.)
  3. Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 25 minutes, until it is completely soft. (You should be able to easily poke through it without any resistance. The eggplant will begin to collapse due to its softness.)
  4. Remove the eggplant from the oven and let cool.
  5. Peel the skin off the flesh of the eggplant and discard.
  6. Place the eggplant flesh in a bowl and use a fork to mash the eggplant to a paste.
  7. Add the ¼ cup tahini, garlic, ¼ cup lemon juice, and cumin—then mix well.
  8. Season with salt, then taste, and add more tahini and/or lemon juice, if needed.
  9. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and spread with the back of a spoon to form a shallow well.
  10. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle with the parsley leaves.
  11. Place the olives around the sides.
  12. Serve at room temperature with warm flat bread or crackers.

Storage: Baba Ghanoush can be made and refrigerated for up to five days prior to serving. As a result it is also a great on-the-go lunch if packed in a reusable container with pita on the side.

last revised 8/30/2011

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