Ok guys, confession time. I have this weird obsession with baba ghanoush. I love the stuff. This love affair started several years ago after trying the creamy eggplant dip at a Mediterranean restaurant in Dallas and was reignited during my experience on the Whole 30 diet last year.
Recently it has reached a whole new level thanks to our new favorite restaurant here in Charlotte, Yafo Kitchen. They make the best baba ghanoush I have ever had. The stuff is practically addicting. I will order an extra large side of the stuff just so I can take it home and eat it throughout the week. I also try and find new and creative ways of trying to trick the staff at the restaurant what their secret ingredient is. So far, no one has given it up.
But lucky for all of us, I think I figured it out on my own. Now I can make the best GD baba ghanoush anytime I want, and so can you!
Start with two good sized eggplant and stab them all over with a knife. Unless you want them to blow up in the oven, that’s your call.
Broil them until they are completely charred and wrinkled, but also totally soft inside.
Cut the eggplants open and spoon out all the delicious flesh.
Now here’s the fun part! Put all that flesh into a salad spinner (it’s not just for salad anymore, guys!) and give it a good spin to get out all that extra moisture. Then throw all of it into the food processor.
[Big thanks to Serious Eats for that tip!]
Too the egg plant, add some good tahini. How do I know if it’s good tahini? The less English there is on the bottle, the better! But the stuff from Trader Joe’s will also work just fine.
Now here is where this stuff goes from good, to great. Add in some sumac (probably not something you have lying around your spice cabinet, but I highly recommend getting yourself some if you like Middle Eastern food) and smoked paprika.
The smoked paprika is the kicker. It gives the baba ghanoush this mildly sweet and smokey flavor that is just heavenly. You can skip the sumac. Do not skip the smoked paprika.
We aren’t done yet. The last step is adding the garlic. However, I do not recommend adding a whole clove of garlic to the food processor. It will make the garlic flavor very harsh and almost spicy.
I recommend mincing it very finely then “pureeing” it with the side of a knife. Sprinkle a bit of salt over the garlic, then run blade of the knife at about a 75 degree angle over the garlic. Then mix it into the baba ghanoush at the very end.
Don’t you just want to stick your fave right into that work bowl? Just me?
You may change your mind after trying this baba ghanoush. I don’t care if you don’t really like eggplant. Or even if you have tried the dip before and didn’t like it. Try this one and I will almost guarantee that you will like it. I forced my husband to try it, even though he isn’t a fan of eggplant, and he actually liked it.
Actually, what he said was “I think this is better than Yafo’s”. Sure he might be biased and only said that to get in my pants, but let’s just pretend that it’s true, okay.
At the very least, it is so good that I licked the bowl clean, an honor I only reserve for cake batter and cookie dough.