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Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush | Well and Full | #recipe

Have any of you ever watched The Next Food Network Star? If not, this is what it’s all about – contestants compete to become the Next Food Network Star (funnily enough), which entails winning their own show on the network. It’s not as much “about” the food as say, Good Eats or Iron Chef America, but it’s wildly entertaining to see what it’s like behind the scenes of a major TV network. Anyways, something they all talk about on the show is the contestants’ “culinary point of view”, whether it be southern cooking or coastal cuisine or rustic Italian. Having a clearly defined culinary POV is really the crux of the show (besides being fabulous on camera, of course). And watching these contestants find themselves, culinarily, kind of made me think about my own POV.

I make vegan food, obviously. And I always will. But increasingly, I want my food to be less about the fact that it’s vegan, and more about the fact that it’s really really good food that just happens to be vegan. It’s a fine distinction, but one that is very important to me. Vegans can be gourmets too! And as the lovely Gena Hamshaw says in her book, Food52 Vegan, “At its heart, vegan food is just food.”

Baba Ganoush | Well and Full | #recipeBaba Ganoush | Well and Full | #recipeBaba Ganoush | Well and Full | #recipeBaba Ganoush | Well and Full | #recipe

Coming back to my own culinary point of view, I still don’t think I’ve found the exact combination of words that really describes my food. Honestly, it’s probably because I try to have my recipes be a lot of things. They’re all plant-based, made with whole-food ingredients, rarely with refined sugar, mostly healthy, with the use of different spices, and with an occasional emphasis on global cuisine. Can you imagine that as a tagline? “Hi, I’m Sarah! And I cook plant-based, whole-food, all-natural, mostly-healthy, spice-driven, globally-inspired cuisine!!” Um, no.

But I think my current tagline, “Adventures in a plant-based kitchen”, encompasses those things fairly well. Being adventurous in the kitchen means exploring other cultures, trying new ingredients, and going outside of your comfort zone. However, it doesn’t really delve into the whole all-natural, healthy thing, which is very important to me as well. Eating is, after all, an act of nourishment for the body and the soul. And I’ve found that eating a diet of whole foods is the best way for me to feel healthy. So maybe I can keep my tagline, and you guys can just make a mental note like, “Well and Full = healthy”?? Sounds good? Okay awesome!!

Now to the recipe… this baba ganoush was inspired some words in a book I read a while back that takes place in Turkey. A certain passage really stood out to me:

Liv fished a banknote out of the petty cash envelope and exchanged it for a triangular piece of bread, studded with seeds, and a tub of baba ganoush. She scooped up the thick paste and shoveled it into her mouth. It was smoky and garlicky, a mixture of toasted sesame oil, roasted eggplant and cumin with some other spices dancing around in the background. It was the most delicious thing she had ever eaten.

I love authors that can evoke flavors and foods in their writing. I don’t know if this baba ganoush recipe will be the best thing you ever eat, but I CAN promise that it’s smoky and garlicky, with cumin and sesame and other lovely spices dancing around in the background.

Baba Ganoush | Well and Full | #recipeBaba Ganoush | Well and Full | #recipe

5.0 from 1 reviews
Baba Ganoush
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Baba Ganoush is a smoky Middle Eastern dip made of roasted eggplant, tahini, garlic, and spices. It's incredibly easy to make this delicious dip at home!
Ingredients
  • 2 Medium Eggplant
  • 5 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • ¼ Cup Tahini
  • Juice from 1 Lemon + Some Zest
  • ¾ Tsp Smoked Paprika
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ¾ Tsp Sumac
  • ¼ Tsp Cumin
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • Pinch of Cardamom
  • Pinch of Cayenne (optional)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Cooking
  • Sesame Seeds for Garnish
  • Fresh Parsley for Garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to broil.
  2. Cut the eggplants into rounds about ½ inch thick. Lay out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Let rest for about 10 minutes.
  3. After 10 minutes, use a clean towel to dry off any excess liquid from the eggplant rounds.
  4. Drizzle the eggplant with a little olive oil, and add another pinch of sea salt.
  5. Place the baking sheet in the middle of the oven (this will slow-roast the eggplant). Roast the eggplant for about 5-10 minutes, or until the tops are browned and even a little bit blackened.
  6. When the eggplant are done, remove from the oven and let cool.
  7. While eggplant is cooling, bring a sauté pan to medium heat with a little olive oil. Add minced garlic and sauté until garlic is slightly browned. Remove pan from heat and let rest for a few minutes. Don't remove the garlic or the oil from the pan - we will use both of them in a few minutes.
  8. While the pan is cooling, take the skins off of the eggplant rounds. You can do this with a knife (be careful!) but I think it's easier by hand.
  9. Once all of the eggplant skins are removed, add eggplant, garlic (and the oil it was cooking in), tahini, lemon juice + zest, and spices to a food processor. Process until desired consistency is reached - some like their dips smooth and creamy, others like them thick and chunky. I like mine somewhere in between.
  10. To serve, scoop baba ganoush into a bowl. Top with freshly minced parsley, sesame seeds, and a few sprinkles of smoked paprika. Best enjoyed with grilled pita, but also delicious with crackers or fresh veggies.

Baba Ganoush | Well and Full | #recipe

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    Jodi
    October 28, 2015 at 8:42 am

    Sarah! I just love baba ganoush! And I love that exert from the book, a good dip requires just a little bit more time to savor. I love what you said about vegan food just being food, I couldn’t agree more. It can be seasonal and local and gourmet and healthy all at the same time, it goes way beyond kale salads and nutritional yeast! haha. I love ‘adventures in cooking’ – because thats exactly what this all is! Thanks for the gorgeous recipe x

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 28, 2015 at 9:48 am

      Hey Jodi!! So excited you stopped by!! 😀 Vegan food is definitely more than kale salads and nutritional yeast, as HHK beautifully demonstrates as well!! 😉

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    October 28, 2015 at 9:04 am

    That’s how I want to describe my food, cooking, and diet. It’s just food. Food is just food and cooking is the process that makes it into even more beautiful artwork, enhancing mother nature’s job 🙂

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 28, 2015 at 9:49 am

      Yes!! I feel like the same thing applies for GF food…. it’s just FOOD! And if it’s from S&S, it’s really GOOD food 😉

  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    October 28, 2015 at 10:58 am

    I’ve always loved this dip so much! Definitely need to give this a try 🙂

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 28, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      Thanks girl!! 😀

  • Reply
    genevieve @ gratitude & greens
    October 29, 2015 at 7:38 am

    Babaganoush is one of my favourite dips! When my sister was younger, she had an obsession/babaganoush phase. She could eat two huge tubs of it with a spoon and so whenever I see babaganoush, that’s all I think about! So when it came time to celebrate her 18th birthday and all her friends came over… Well, I made lots of babaganoush, haha!! Vegan food is definitely just food and I make it a point with my friends and family that it tastes just as good, you just have to stop thinking about it as “different”.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 29, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      Hahaha that’s funny about your sister! I bet she loved having you make baba ganoush for her!! 😀

  • Reply
    dixya | food, pleasure, and health
    October 29, 2015 at 11:32 am

    i love baba ganoush in general…so this is my idea of food. im not a vegan or vegetarian but do enjoy bountiful of produce and wholesome ingredients…so everytime i make something i dont like when people say. oh is this healthy brownies or soup..i wish people just enjoyed food for what it is rather than labeling it.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 29, 2015 at 4:35 pm

      Right?! Just get rid of the labels!!

  • Reply
    Susannah (Lemon and Coconut)
    October 29, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Beautiful recipe and photos Sarah ,jut lovely. Yes, your site definitely demonstrates that vegan food is and can be good beautiful food. Always stylish anddelicious, something both to aspire to and so easy and accessible x

    • Reply
      Susannah (Lemon and Coconut)
      October 29, 2015 at 2:31 pm

      … and I love your tagline it’s great, sums it up perfectly we shouldn’t have to fit into a small box, we’re free 🙂

      • Reply
        Sarah
        October 29, 2015 at 4:34 pm

        Vegans can be gourmets too! 😉

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 29, 2015 at 4:32 pm

      Thank you so much Susannah!! 😀 That’s one of the nicest things anyone’s ever said about my blog and it made me smile really huge!! 😀 😀

  • Reply
    cynthia
    November 3, 2015 at 9:57 am

    SARAH: funny – i was preparing BABA GANOUSH the same day!!!

    in the MIDDLE EAST, the recipe changes from household to household. in ISRAEL, mayonnaise is added – weird to me. ground allspice, cumin, etc. may also be added. AH! THE INFINITE BABA GANOUSH RECIPES!!!

    since i prefer to prepare everything on my own, without ‘shortcuts’ – cans, bottled spices, sauces – i had decided to make my own TECHINA. all i can say is, perhaps store-bought is recommended for most chefs. ONE POUND OF SESAME SEEDS TO ABOUT 3/4 CUPS OF OIL TO YIELD TWO CUPS OF TECHINA!! {needless to say, i just about fainted after this was done} PLUS i use a blender. first i roasted the sesame seeds, then ground them in a former coffee grinder and then off to the blender.

    this was only the beginning: next i roasted the whole eggplant,,,when it was done, i prayed for strength to complete my BABA GANOUSH. oh, i had already prepared HUMMUS. as if the HUMMUS AND BABA GANOUSH were not enough, i proceeded to prepare TABOULI.

    after rinsing, drying, and hand-chopping/mincing fresh italian parsley, draining and squeezing moisture out of the soaked bulghur, i sighed and went into the bedroom to have a well-deserved nap…

    the rest of that day is A DELICIOUS, SATISFYING FEAST…

    thought you could appreciate my exhausting, inspiring BABA GANOUSH ADVENTURE.

    • Reply
      Sarah
      November 4, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      That’s so cool that you make everything from scratch!! I’ve never made my own techina/tahini… I don’t think my blender could handle it 😉 But your culinary adventures sound awesome and I’m so glad you shared!! I love hearing about others’ time in the kitchen 😀

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