Oven roasted baba ghanoush with eggplant, fresh garlic, tahini paste, and spices. This dip is an eggplant lovers dream and it’s delicious served with crudités or fried eggs and toasted whole wheat pita bread.
Traditional vs Oven Roasted
Traditional baba ghanoush is made using eggplant that has been roasted over an open flame. Those without access to a wood burning grill often make baba ghanoush by roasting eggplant over a gas burner. This approach adds a lovely smoky flavor to the cooked eggplant but it can be rather time consuming.
If you love inactive cooking or you don’t have a gas stove at home (or both!) you’ll love using your oven to recreate that smoky flavor! Despite the long cooking time prescribed in the recipe, this roasted eggplant baba ghanoush requires very little active prepping and cooking.
You prepare the dip by keeping the eggplants whole, eschewing chopping or dicing. In lieu of standing over a gas stove, rotating each eggplant over the flame and ignoring the fact that you’ll have to clean up the juices landing on your range, this recipe lets you roast the vegetables in the oven so you can truly set it and forget it.
Once the eggplants are roasted, you’ll remove excess moisture through a sieve. This is a simple way to avoid a runny baba ghanoush and achieve the perfect texture. Then you simply blend the eggplant with tahini and spices (coriander and cumin are traditional for the Persian version of baba ghanoush) for a delightful meze or appetizer. If you’re serving this recipe for a picnic or dinner party, make the dip the night before. An overnight stint in the refrigerator deeply improves the flavor of this eggplant dish.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the whole eggplants on the baking sheet. Grease the outside of the eggplants with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.
Roast the whole eggplants in the oven until the eggplant is completely cooked and a fork easily pierces the flesh, 50-60 minutes. The skin will be hard to pierce through but once you get through it you can judge the doneness of the eggplant by how easily the fork pierces the flesh.
Remove the eggplants from the oven, use a sharp knife to cut through the skin, exposing the flesh and allowing the steam and excess moisture to escape.
Place the exposed eggplant back in the oven for 20-30 minutes until completely roasted and the flesh is very soft.
Remove the eggplants from the oven and let them cool at room temperature until they’ve cooled to the touch, 10-15 minutes.
Gently remove the eggplant skin and scoop the roasted flesh into a sieve to drain excess moisture.
Place the roasted and drained eggplant into a food processor.
Add the tahini, grated garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil to the eggplant.
Blend the baba ganoush together until the mixture is smooth and combined.
Taste the baba ganoush and add more lemon juice or salt to your taste.
Spread the baba ghanoush onto a plate and cover with plastic wrap.
Chill the dip in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or overnight for best flavor).
Drizzle some olive oil over the dip and sprinkle with sumac or smoked paprika.