Make Your Own Babaganoush

In the Middle East it’s traditional to find babaganoush with appetizers like hummus, tahini, pita bread and olives. Here's how to make your own.
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My family originates from the Middle East so it’s traditional to find babaganoush alongside typical appetizers like hummus, tahini, pita bread, pickled vegetables and olives. Here are the basics to making a killer babaganoush.

The Eggplant

Babaganoush is basically a pureed eggplant salad. It’s typically used as a condiment or dip for veggies and pita bread. Make babaganoush by selecting a shiny and firm eggplant that’s heavy for its size. Rev up your oven and roast it for about 30 to 40 minutes until the center is tender. Some recipes call for peeled and diced or sliced eggplant, while others tell you to bake it whole. The main goal is to get the inside of the eggplant soft enough so you can puree it.

The Flavors

I like traditional flavors mixed with my babaganoush like lemon juice, olive oil, tahini (sesame seed paste) and garlic. You may find spiced up versions with tomatoes, peppers, jalapeno, thyme or basil. Experiment with your favorite flavor combinations and make it your own. Here’s my recipe for Israeli-style babaganoush.

Traditional Babaganoush

Serves: 12

Serving size: ¼ cup
Ingredients
1 large eggplant, halved lengthwise
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
Nonstick cooking spray
Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place eggplant cut side up on a baking sheet coated with non-stick cooking spray. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, turning occasionally, until soft. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. Scoop out flesh with a spoon; discard skin.

Place roasted eggplant, lemon juice, tahini, sesame seeds, and garlic in a blender; puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer eggplant mixture to a medium bowl and mix in olive oil. Refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.

Nutrition Information (per ¼ cup serving)
Calories: 60
Total Fat: 5 grams
Saturated Fat: 0.5 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Total carbohydrate: 4 grams
Fiber: 2 grams
Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
Sodium: 50 milligrams
Recipes to try:

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby's full bio »

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