Open Accessibility Menu

Make our baba ghanoush recipe your new go-to snack

Make our baba ghanoush recipe your new go-to snack

Here in Louisiana, we’re known for our cooking. We don’t need (or always want) to look far afield for tasty ways to dress up a tailgate or party platter. But if you’re looking for some variety, food from the Eastern Mediterranean offers dramatic flavors that rival even the tastiest boudin balls. You can start with our baba ghanoush recipe.

Branch out with baba ghanoush

Baba ghanoush is typically made of eggplant that you bake, broil or grill until the inside is soft and has a rich, smoky flavor. Once the proper consistency and flavor have been achieved, the eggplant is mixed with salt, pepper, garlic and tahini (a paste made of ground sesame seeds). Some people add yogurt to create a creamy consistency or red pepper for extra flavor and color.

Beyond having a unique flavor, baba ghanoush is also good for you. Eggplant contains a powerful antioxidant called nasunin that can help improve blood flow to your brain, which can improve mental health and cognition. Eggplant also contains vitamin C, which supports your immune system. Finally, this tasty eggplant dip has fewer calories than hummus, another popular Mediterranean side, making it a better choice for if you’re trying to lose weight or watching your caloric intake.

How to make baba ghanoush

Even though the dish may sound complicated, it’s easy to make at home. You only need a few ingredients:

  • 1 eggplant of any variety (1 to 1.5 pounds)—experiment with globe or Japanese eggplant varieties
  • 2 tablespoons raw tahini
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Paprika or cayenne pepper, for garnishing

Once you have all the ingredients, here’s how to make this delicious, creamy and smoky dish.

  1. Roast the eggplant until fully cooked with the skin burned and falling off easily. An easy way to achieve this is by sticking the eggplant all over with a fork and placing it directly under a broiler and turning it every 3–4 minutes as the skin blackens. Be sure to place a pan or baking sheet underneath to catch any drippings.
  2. Scoop out the flesh of your eggplant and discard the skin. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Place the roasted eggplant, tahini, lime and garlic in a food processor or blender. Blend until the mixture has a smooth and creamy consistency.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika or cayenne.

Roasting the eggplants is the easiest way to make this dip, but grilling the eggplant adds extra smokiness. When it’s finished, serve it with pita bread, pita chips or your favorite crunchy vegetables.

Baba ghanoush vs. hummus

If baba ghanoush feels a bit too exotic for you, its relative, hummus, is equally healthy with a slightly milder flavor. Both are commonly served as side dishes and used as dips for vegetables and pita bread.

The primary difference is their main ingredient. While baba ghanoush is eggplant-based, hummus is made with chickpeas that are cooked until very soft, then blended and mixed with tahini, olive oil, salt and other ingredients, such as lemon and garlic. Hummus has a milder flavor and more calories than baba ghanoush, but it boasts plenty of fiber from the chickpeas, making it a worthy alternative.

Are you looking for help losing weight? Eating healthier is a step in the right direction, but you may need something more. Learn how the Center for Surgical Weight Loss at West Jefferson Medical Center can help you achieve weight loss that lasts.