Baba ghanouj is a spread made from eggplant and tahini (sesame paste), spiked with lemon and garlic. An important component of its flavor is the smokiness of the eggplant, which is cooked until it collapses, preferably on a charcoal or wood grill.
Nyleve offers a traditional recipe (adjust tahini, lemon, and garlic to your taste).
1 medium eggplant
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
Salt to taste
Olive oil (optional)
Prick eggplant all over with a fork, and either roast at 450F (230C) for about 1 hour or broil, until blackened and soft. Or, place eggplant on a grill and cook, turning once or twice, until charred and soft. (The grilling method will produce a smokier taste.)
Cut a slit down the length of the eggplant, scoop the insides into a bowl and mash with a fork. Add tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and salt, mixing well with a fork. Drizzle olive oil over the top, if you’d like, and serve with pita bread.
sbp has a tip: scoop the cooked eggplant out of its skin and into a colander to let any bitter juices drain off before proceeding with the recipe.
Anne H adds a little cumin and a pinch of cayenne to her baba ghanouj.
Board Links: Sauces #3: baba ganoush/baba ghanouj