Baba ganoush is a classic Levantine eggplant and tahini dip that is beloved throughout the Middle East. The main variations are whether yogurt is included (it’s generally added to smooth out the flavor of the garlic) and how the eggplant is cooked. Our version calls for grilling the eggplant and skipping the yogurt to allow the charred smoky flavor to really shine.
Preheat a grill to medium high and brush the grates with olive oil.
Pierce each eggplant all over 5 to 6 times to prevent splitting and help the interior cook all the way through. Place on the grill and cook, turning them every 5 minutes to make sure they’re charred equally on all sides, until the flesh is very soft when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 25 to 35 minutes (see Cook’s Note). Transfer to a cutting board and let cool for 5 minutes.
Peel each eggplant under cold running water, then return it to the cutting board. Finely chop the flesh and transfer it to a large bowl. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and 1 teaspoon salt and mix well. Taste and add more salt, if needed.
Transfer the baba ganoush to a serving bowl and make divots in it using a spoon. Drizzle with the 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle some sumac on top if using. Serve with pita. The baba ganoush will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Charring eggplant takes time and patience. You will get the best results when grilling over an uncovered open flame--you want to see flames while the eggplants cook.
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