Baba Ghanoush (Smoked Eggplant Dip)

Today I’m sharing baba ghanoush.

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Baba ghanoush is one of my favorite kinds of mezze dishes. It’s smokey, acidic and fresh. You’ll almost never see an appetizer spread without it.

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Throughout the Middle East, the creamy spread with tahini and labneh is sometimes referred to as baba ganoush. In Syria, this dish is called moutabal, and it’s also yummy, but today I’m sharing baba ghanoush, which in Syria, is always made with vegetables.

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This dish is extra special because of the roasted eggplant. Watch the eggplant transform into rich, smokey and sweet deliciousness as you roast the eggplant yourself, or buy jarred eggplant puree.

The addition of chopped vegetables and walnuts gives a perfectly crunchy bite that contrasts to the creaminess of the eggplant. Mint is added for freshness, and lemon juice and pomegranate molasses are used for acidity.

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Pomegranate molasses is my absolute favorite seasoning. If you haven’t picked up a bottle yet, you need to do it ASAP. It’s sweet, it’s tart, it’s syrupy. I use it just about everywhere: on meats, in salad dressing, in tomato sauce, in drinks, etc. It’s truly an essential pantry ingredient.

If you try the recipe, don’t forget to mention it in the comments! And tag me on Instagram at @omayahatassi or #omayahcooks. I can’t wait to see your creations!

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Baba Ghanoush

Serves 3-4

6 medium or 4 large eggplants
1 small tomato, diced
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1.5 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts, more if desired
3 Tbsp fresh mint, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
Drizzle of good olive oil

  1. Start by roasting the eggplants. Line a baking sheet with foil and turn the oven on broil. Place an oven rack about 6 inches from the broiler.

  2. Pierce the eggplants all over with a paring knife and place on the baking sheet (you may need to do this in batches). Put the eggplants in the oven and roast, turning every 7-10 minutes, for about 30 minutes until the eggplants are charred and collapsed.

  3. Place immediately in a Ziplock bag for about 5 minutes. Remove the eggplants and scrape out the flesh from the inside onto a cutting board. Chop roughly and immediately transfer to a colander to let drain until cool.

  4. Combine eggplant with remaining vegetables, walnuts, garlic and mint in a mixing bowl, adding the vegetables slowly, making sure that you continue to have more eggplant than other vegetables.

  5. Add the pomegranate molasses and lemon juice. Adjust the acidity and salt to taste.

  6. Tip the baba ghanous onto a serving plate. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with pita bread.