First, if you bought your eggplant in a grocery store, take the stickers off the outside of the eggplant. To get a great smoky flavor in the dip, use a barbecue (wood or gas-fueled), live coals or a gas burner on the stove set to high heat and roast the outside skin until it starts to burn and smoke. This will take about 6 – 10 minutes, as it is important to evenly roast all sides of the eggplant. Transfer the charred eggplant to the side of the grill and allow to fully cook, until the vegetable is soft, tender, and starts to release its juices. Remove from the grill \ smoker and let cool for about 10 minutes. Carefully peel the outside charred skin away from the soft flesh and discard the skin.
Oven Roasted Eggplant Directions:
First, if you bought your eggplant in a grocery store, take the stickers off the outside of the eggplant. Place the eggplant to a sheet tray lined with either a silicone baking mat or aluminum foil, and place into a preheated 400°F | 204°C oven for about 40 – 55 minutes, depending on the size and shape of the eggplant used. The eggplant is done when it starts to release its juices, and the flesh is soft and tender. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Carefully peel the outside charred skin away from the soft flesh and discard the skin.
To Make Baba Ghanoush Directions:
In the bowl of a food processor, add the sesame and hemp seeds, olive oil, garlic (roasted and raw), beer (to make the dip even more roasty and smoky, try a Rauchbier, or a smoked Porter or Stout, or use a malty brew like a Hemp Brown to add extra richness), salt, cumin, chili pepper of choice. Fit the bowl with a lid and pulse several times to mix all the ingredients. The idea at this step is to make a paste, smooth and creamy, creating essentially a seed butter and incorporating all the ingredients together, to later be mixed into the eggplant.
Add the prepared eggplant to the bowl and pulse until all the ingredients are mixed together. If you like a chunkier version of Baba Ghanoush, then you are done. If a smoother, silkier version is your jam, then purée until smooth. Taste, and adjust the seasoning, if needed. If the Baba Ghanoush is bitter, add more salt. If it is dull, add more lemon juice.
Transfer the eggplant dip to a serving bowl and garnish with the chopped parsley and a healthy sprinkle of paprika (using the Spanish smoked variety will really play well with the smoky flavors of the charred eggplant and smoked beer).
Baba Ghanoush Recipe Variations:
Try using different types and varieties of eggplant
Use more roasted garlic, to make a Roasted Garlic Baba Ghanoush
Add a smoked onion, with the seeds, to make a Smoked Onion Baba Ghanoush
Like a Spicy Baba Ghanoush? Add your favorite hot sauce and | or some fresh chili peppers
Love Za’atar? Try using my Homemade Za’atar spice seasoning to garnish this dip with.