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Baba Ghanoush

Baba ghanoush—not just another pretty face.

Makes about 2¼ cups


About 1¾ hours from start to finish


Baba ghanoush is a creamy eggplant dip that manages to remain alluring even slumped in a bowl. The slinky, almost glycerine-like texture gets you first, then the dancing pinpoint sparkles on the tip of your tongue unique to eggplant. Green and fresh, lush and rich, baba ghanoush is touched with sweetness, smoke, and the teasing round and round can’t-get-enough-of-you back channel impact of tahini. The power of baba ghanoush to attract is mysterious and indisputable. Using restraint in terms of seasoning, we kept individual elements in the recipe playful and in balance, and permitted no heavy metal influences from excess lemon or garlic. A good time is had by all.

We developed this recipe to pair with our Ancient Emmer Pita Chips. But baba ghanoush is also surprisingly eloquent served alongside Mujadara, with or in lieu of the traditional yogurt garnish.

Cooking Remarks

We set up this recipe for the grill to bring smoke to baba’s sweetness, but there’s no shame in using a broiler. If your grill is covered with snow, adjust an oven rack so that it is positioned about 8 inches from the broiler and preheat the broiler. Broil the pierced eggplant on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet until completely soft and charred all over, 30 to 50 minutes (the timing depends on the intensity of your broiler), rotating each eggplant every 10 minutes or so.

Baba ghanoush is significantly better if eaten at room temperature. Since you’re making this dish at home and not grabbing a half pint from the deli, you have this option! Use it.

equipment mise en place

For this recipe, you will need a charcoal or gas grill (or a broiler; see Cooking Remarks), a pair of tongs, a large plate or a baking sheet, a colander, a large bowl, a food processor, a rubber spatula, and a serving bowl.

    • 2¾ to 3
      pounds globe eggplants
    • tablespoons juice from 1 large, juicy lemon, plus more to taste
    • 2
      tablespoons tahini
    • ½
      teaspoon minced garlic (if the garlic clove has a germ, remove it before mincing)
    • Fine sea salt
    • 3
      tablespoons good-quality extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling
    • Ground sumac or sweet paprika for garnish

    Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to medium-high. Allow the grill to heat for 10 to 15 minutes, and then clean the grill grate with a wire brush.


    Pierce each eggplant a few times with the tip of a paring knife to allow steam to escape during cooking. Grill the eggplants directly over the fire, covered, using tongs to rotate them every 8 minutes or so, until charred all around and the eggplant offers absolutely no resistance when pierced with a skewer (make sure to check the neck of the eggplants, as the flesh there tends to be very dense), 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer the eggplants to a large plate or a baking sheet and let cool for 15 minutes.


    Set a colander in a large bowl. Trim off and discard the tops of the eggplants. Slit them lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop the pulp into the colander; make sure to get all of the pulp that clings to the skin. Let drain for 30 minutes; shake the colander occasionally to encourage the moisture to drain out. 


    Transfer the eggplant to a food processor and add the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Process to a smooth purée, 45 to 60 seconds, scraping down the bowl once or twice with a rubber spatula. With the machine running, stream in the olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and lemon juice, if needed. Transfer the baba to a serving bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to bloom and meld. Use the back of a spoon to create a swirl in the surface of the baba. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sumac, and serve. (Leftover baba will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days; make sure to bring it to room temperature before serving.)