This Baba Ganoush recipe is easy to make, perfect for dipping or spreading, and full of the best rich and zesty flavors. See notes above for possible ingredient modifications.
- 2 to 2.5 pounds Italian eggplants (about 3 small eggplants)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided (plus extra for drizzling)
- 4 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 to 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- optional: ground sumac, for sprinkling
- Roast the eggplant and garlic. Heat oven to 450°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise and poke the purple skins with a fork a few times, then brush the exposed white flesh of the eggplants and the unpeeled garlic cloves with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Place the eggplants flesh-side-down on the baking sheet along with the unpeeled garlic cloves. Roast everything together for 20 minutes*, then remove the garlic cloves and set them aside to cool. Return the sheet of eggplants to the oven and continue roasting for 25-35 more minutes, until the eggplants have collapsed and the flesh is completely soft and tender. (Cooking time will depend on the size of your eggplants and garlic cloves.) Transfer the baking sheet to a wire cooling rack and let the eggplants rest flesh-side-down, undisturbed, for about 20 minutes so that the eggplant flesh can continue to steam inside of its skins.
- Strain the eggplant. Once the eggplant has cooled a bit, use a spoon to scoop out the soft flesh and transfer it to a large fine-mesh strainer. Use the spoon to gently press and strain out the excess water over the sink, then transfer the flesh to a large mixing bowl.
- Combine the ingredients. Peel the roasted garlic and add it to the mixing bowl. Use a fork to stir and gently mash the eggplant and roasted garlic until they reach a smooth-yet-slightly-chunky consistency. Add in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, salt, cumin, and a tablespoon or two of chopped fresh parsley, and stir until combined.
- Season. Taste and season with extra salt, if needed.
- Serve. Serve immediately, topped with an extra drizzle of olive oil and sprinkled with some extra parsley and a pinch of sumac. Leftovers can be refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 3-4 days.
Grill option: If you own a grill, I would highly recommend grilling instead of roasting the eggplant, to give it some extra smoky flavor. Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Leave the eggplants whole and poke them a few times on all sides with a fork. Drizzle the garlic cloves with oil, then place them in a double-wrapped foil packet (completely sealed). Grill the eggplant and garlic packet together for about 25 minutes, remove the garlic and set aside, then continue grilling the eggplants for 15-25 minutes longer until they have collapsed and the flesh inside is completely soft and tender. Grill time will vary depending on the size of your eggplants. Transfer the eggplants to a large bowl, cover, and let rest for 20 minutes so that the eggplants can steam. Then continue on with the recipe as directed.
Double-checking the garlic: I find that it takes about 20 minutes at this temperature for unpeeled garlic cloves to fully roast, but they may need more or less time in the oven/grill, so it’s best to keep an eye on them so that they do not burn. If you use smaller garlic cloves, note that they will also need less cooking time.