The best smoky Baba Ganoush starts with charred eggplant – the trick is to put it directly on the coals of the barbecue. If you’re firing up the barbecue anyway, you might as well give this recipe a try. The eggplants can char while you’re enjoying whatever has already been cooked. This recipe is probably easier than you think – and it pairs great with wine!
2 Italian eggplants
2 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 teaspoon salt
Extra virgin olive oil
Gently lay the eggplants directly on a bed of coals after they are no longer flaming and are covered in white ash. Rotate each eggplant until it is charred on all sides and soft. Depending on the size of the eggplants, this generally takes around 20 minutes more or less. Remove from coals and allow to cool.
When the eggplants are cool enough to handle remove the stem and skin and discard. The skin should easily slip right off. Combine the flesh of the eggplant with the minced garlic, lemon juice, tahini, and salt. For a rustic dip, simply use a potato masher to combine everything. Alternatively, combine those ingredients in a food processor and whir it up until smooth.
To serve, transfer the dip to shallow bowl or a plate, sprinkle with paprika (I favor smoked paprika but sweet paprika makes a nice contrast), and drizzle with olive oil. Pita chips, toasted bread, or sliced cucumbers or carrots all make great edible scoops for this delectable dip.
Since we tend to limit our outdoor cooking to warm evenings, our wine of choice for the best smoky Baba Ganoush is usually a dry rosé. Or, if we’re celebrating Mousseux Monday (and I highly recommend you do, too!), we break out a pink sparkling wine.
For a little video on what the cooking process looks like, check out my Instagram account.