Baba Ganoush in Oven: A Simple and Tasty Recipe

Salads and Dressings

baba ganoush in oven
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Baba ganoush is a delicious Middle Eastern dish that is made from roasted eggplant. It is a great alternative to hummus and is perfect for dipping pita bread or vegetables. Here, I will be sharing my recipe for making baba ganoush in the oven.

To make this recipe, you will need Italian eggplants, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh flat-leaf parsley, salt, cumin, and smoked paprika.

History of Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush is a traditional Middle Eastern dip made from roasted eggplant. The origin of this dish is believed to be in Lebanon, but it is now popular throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean regions.

As a food lover, I have always been fascinated by the history of dishes and how they have evolved. Baba ganoush is no exception. The dish has been around for centuries, adapted and modified to suit different tastes and preferences.

The word “baba” means father in Arabic, and “ganoush” means spoiled or pampered. The name of the dish is believed to be a reference to the smooth and creamy texture of the dip, which is achieved by blending the roasted eggplant with other ingredients such as tahini, garlic, and lemon juice.

Baba ganoush is a versatile dish that can be served as a dip, spread, or side dish. It is typically served with pita bread or vegetables and can be used as a topping for sandwiches or salads.

purple round fruit on brown wooden table

Ingredients:

  • 2 small/medium eggplants
  • 2 medium minced cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice, more as needed
  • ¼ cup of tahini
  • ⅓ cup of olive oil, more for garnish and brushing the eggplant
  • 2 tbsp of chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • ¾ tsp of salt
  • ¼ tsp of ground cumin
  • Some smoked paprika, for garnish

How to Make Baba Ganoush in The Oven?

Baba Ganoush: A Culinary Journey

  1. Begin by preheating your oven to 450°F (232°C) and arrange a rack in the upper third. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper to ensure effortless removal of the roasted eggplant later.
  2. Next, halve the eggplants lengthwise and meticulously brush the exposed flesh with olive oil. Place them, cut side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 35-40 minutes, attending to their progress, until the interior becomes very tender and the skin begins to collapse.
  3. Once roasted, remove the eggplant from the oven and allow it to cool slightly. Flip the halves and carefully scoop out the softened flesh with a large spoon, discarding the skins. Transfer the flesh to a mesh strainer set over a mixing bowl to remove excess moisture. Let it rest for a few minutes, then gently stir or shake the strainer to encourage further draining.
  4. Discard any accumulated eggplant drippings from the bowl. Combine the strained eggplant flesh with the garlic and lemon juice In the same bowl. Using a fork, vigorously mash the mixture until the eggplant breaks down. Introduce the tahini and stir until fully incorporated. While continuously stirring, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Continue until the baba ganoush achieves a pale and creamy consistency, using the fork to break up any stubborn, long strands of eggplant.
  5. Finally, fold in the parsley, salt, and cumin. Taste the baba ganoush and adjust the seasonings with additional salt or lemon juice to achieve your desired level of tartness. Transfer the finished product to a serving bowl and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of smoked paprika, and a touch of fresh parsley. Enjoy this delightful dip with accompaniments of your choice, or incorporate it into a flavorful sandwich spread.

Flavor Enhancements

As much as I love the classic baba ganoush recipe, adding some extra flavors can take this dish to the next level. Here are a few of my favorite flavor enhancements:

Herbs and Spices

Adding herbs and spices is an easy way to add depth and complexity to the dish. Some of my favorites include:

  • Cumin: This warm and earthy spice pairs perfectly with the smoky flavor of the eggplant. I like to sprinkle a little cumin over the top of the baba ganoush before serving.
  • Parsley: Fresh parsley adds a bright, herbaceous flavor to the dish. I like to chop up a handful of parsley and mix it into the baba ganoush before serving.
  • Sumac: This tangy and slightly sour spice is a common ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine. Sprinkling a little sumac over the top of the baba ganoush adds a pop of flavor and color.

Additional Mix-ins

If you’re feeling adventurous, try adding some extra mix-ins to your baba ganoush. Here are a few ideas:

  • Roasted Red Peppers: Roasted red peppers add a sweet and smoky flavor to the dish. Simply chop up a roasted red pepper and mix it into the baba ganoush before serving.
  • Toasted Pine Nuts: Toasted pine nuts add a nutty crunch to the dish. I like to sprinkle a handful of pine nuts over the top of the baba ganoush before serving.
  • Harissa: This spicy North African chili paste adds a fiery kick to the dish. Mix a spoonful of harissa into the baba ganoush for a spicy twist.

Serving Suggestions

Garnishes

Adding a garnish to your baba ganoush can make the dish look more appetizing. Here are some garnishes that I recommend:

  • Pomegranate seeds: These add a sweet and tangy crunch to the baba ganoush.
  • Sumac: This adds a tangy, lemony flavor to the dish and gives it a beautiful red color.

Accompaniments

Baba ganoush is delicious on its own, but it’s even better when paired with the right accompaniments. Here are some of my favorite things to serve with baba ganoush:

  • Pita bread: This is a classic pairing and for good reason! The soft, warm pita bread is the perfect vessel for scooping up the creamy baba ganoush.
  • Crudité: Serve baba ganoush with sliced vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers for a fresh and healthy snack.
  • Olives: The salty, briny flavor of olives pairs perfectly with the creamy baba ganoush.

Storing and Shelf Life

I love making a big batch of baba ganoush, but sometimes I end up with more than I can eat in one sitting. Luckily, baba ganoush stores well in the fridge for up to 5 days. Store it in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out.

If you want to extend the shelf life of your baba ganoush, you can also freeze it for up to 3 months. To freeze, transfer the baba ganoush to a freezer-safe container and label it with the date. When you’re ready to eat it, simply thaw it in the fridge overnight and give it a good stir before serving.

One thing to keep in mind is that baba ganoush can sometimes become watery after being stored in the fridge. To prevent this, you can try adding a bit of tahini or yogurt to the mixture before storing it. This will help thicken it up and keep it from separating.

Nutritional Information

Baba Ganoush is a delicious and healthy dish, easily prepared in the oven. Here are some nutritional facts about Baba Ganoush:

  • Baba Ganoush is low in calories and high in fiber, making it an excellent choice for weight management.
  • It is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, K, and potassium.
  • Baba ganoush is also rich in antioxidants, which help protect the body against damage caused by free radicals.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • The eggplant is too bitter: If your eggplant is too bitter, it may be because it wasn’t salted enough before roasting. Make sure to generously salt the eggplant and let it sit for at least 30 minutes before roasting. You can also try adding a pinch of sugar to balance out the bitterness.
  • The baba ganoush is too watery: If your baba ganoush is too watery, it may be because you didn’t drain the roasted eggplant enough. After roasting, make sure to let the eggplant cool and then squeeze out any excess liquid before blending. You can also try adding less tahini or lemon juice.
  • The baba ganoush is too thick: If your baba ganoush is too thick, it may be because you added too much tahini or didn’t add enough lemon juice. Try adjusting the ratio of tahini to lemon juice until you get the desired consistency.
  • The baba ganoush is too garlicky: If your baba ganoush is too garlicky, it may be because you used too much garlic or didn’t roast the garlic beforehand. Try roasting the garlic before blending or using less garlic next time.

Conclusion

In conclusion, making baba ganoush in the oven is a simple and delicious way to enjoy this traditional Middle Eastern dish. By using fresh ingredients and following a few basic steps, anyone can create a flavorful and healthy appetizer or side dish.

One of the benefits of making it in the oven is that it allows the eggplant to become tender and smoky, which enhances the dish’s flavor. Additionally, baking the eggplant eliminates the need for frying, making it a healthier option.

To make the perfect baba ganoush, it is essential to use high-quality ingredients such as fresh garlic, tahini, and lemon juice. These ingredients work together to create a creamy and tangy dip that pairs well with pita bread, crackers, or fresh vegetables.

Overall, baking baba ganoush in the oven is a simple and healthy way to enjoy this classic Middle Eastern dish. With a few basic ingredients and some simple steps, anyone can create a delicious and nutritious appetizer or side dish that is sure to impress.

Just so you know, this dip is a wonderful addition to Moroccan harissa grilled chicken.
Get this recipe now (by clicking the image below):
Moroccan harissa grilled chickenMoroccan harissa grilled chicken


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