Baba Ghanoush 011

Mary’s Baba Ghanoush with Toasted Pita Chips (recipe by “Oishii!”)

I’ve been waiting patiently for fresh eggplant at the farmers markets so I could make baba ghanoush, a tasty eggplant spread with a light smoky flavor. My friend Mary, who is from Iraq and has been cutting my hair for over 10 years at Klassy Cut (located in the Andersonville neighborhood in Chicago), taught me her method of making it. She noted that it is very similar to making hummus, but you use roasted eggplant instead of garbanzo beans. Once the eggplant comes out of the oven and is scooped out of the shell, it’s as easy to make as pulsing a food processor. Don’t let the strange name stop you from trying this great snack or appetizer.

Ingredient note: Tahini can be purchased at a natural food store such as Whole Foods or a specialty Middle Eastern grocery store.

Ingredients
baba ghanoush:

  • 2 eggplants, 1 lb. each, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more to garnish
  • 1 tablespoon plain yogurt (optional)
  • kosher salt
  • optional garnishes: paprika, parsley, olives, cucumbers, or tomatoes

pita chips:

  • 5 small loaves of pita bread, or 7.5 ounces
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

Preparation

baba ghanoush:

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a heavy rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle a little olive oil and kosher salt on eggplant halves and arrange it cut side down on the baking sheet. Roast in oven for 30 minutes or until eggplant is tender, and let it cool somewhat. Scoop out pulp and let it drain. Discard the skin.

Transfer to food processor the roasted eggplant, and add garlic, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, yogurt (optional), and kosher salt. Pulse all ingredients. Put in serving bowl and drizzle extra olive oil on top. Add option garnishes if you wish. Serve with pita chips.

pita chips:

Preheat oven to 375 °F.  Line a heavy rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Tear by hand the double-layered pita into single layers of bread. Cut these half circles of pita into bite-sized triangular pieces. Spread out pita pieces onto baking pan sheet and sprinkle with olive oil, kosher salt, and dried oregano. Bake in oven 10 minutes or until toasted light brown.

Ideas

Serve with cucumber slices, carrot sticks, or pita chips for a healthy snack or appetizer. For a similar recipe, try Mary’s Hummus with Toasted Pita Chips. If you like tahini, Jersusalam Salad is nice too.

What’s oishii? “Oishii” (pronounced “oy she”) is the Japanese word for delicious. I love sharing great recipes I discover from popular restaurants, cookbooks, food magazines (Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, etc.), tv shows, friends, family, and other blogs. I also develop my own. Please contact me if there is a recipe you would like the test kitchen to consider: michaelwbeyer@hotmail.com

If you enjoyed this post, we would love to hear from you! Your feedback in the comments section below is essential to the success of this blog. -Michael

Join “Oishii!” on Facebook