A mezze plate (the most wonderful selection of small plates) is incomplete without baba ghanoush, a smoky eggplant spread. But this recipe is not your standard baba. THIS one is made with roasted garlic which takes it to another level. Don’t be alarmed that this recipe calls for two whole heads of garlic. When roasting whole heads of garlic the result is otherworldly. Garlic comes out buttery, caramelized, sweet, and mild-- turning everything it touches into gold! Just kidding, wouldn’t that be great? But really, pretty close. Everyone will be wondering what’s in your eggplant spread that tastes so special.
Got leftovers or simply looking for a way to perk up a sandwich? This spread is super versatile and is a great match for it.
Looking for a couple of other great dips to make your own mezze platter? Make the hummus from this festive lentil and quinoa salad with pomegranate seeds and hummus recipe. And add this beet dip, too! Serve with veggies and pita chips and you've got yourself a mighty strong mezze plate.
Please note, if you’re not into smoke, not planning on grilling (another method to cook the eggplant), or don’t have a gas range you can simply drizzle the eggplant with olive oil and roast at 400° until very tender, 35 to 40 minutes.
roasted garlic baba ghanoush
makes about 1½ cups
2 heads garlic
olive oil, for drizzling
1 large eggplant (about 1¾ lbs.)
¼ cup plus 1 tbsp. tahini
1 tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. lemon zest, for serving
½ tsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. toasted pine nuts, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400°. Cut the top off the garlic heads, making sure to leave the cloves intact, discard top and any loose skins. Place on individual pieces of aluminum foil and drizzle garlic with olive oil; season with salt. Wrap in foil and roast until cloves are soft and caramelized, 40 to 50 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze cloves into the bowl of a food processor (you should have about 2 tbsp.). Get every last bit!
Meanwhile, place eggplant directly over a gas range. Cook over medium-high, turning frequently, until skin is charred and flesh is soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Alternatively, prick eggplant all over, place on a lined sheet tray, and broil, turning occasionally, until the skin is charred, about 45 minutes. If the eggplant is a bit on the plump side and doesn’t get tender throughout, you can finish it in the oven with the garlic, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Once the eggplant is cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh (you should have 1¼ cups); discard skin. Place flesh in a strainer and drain excess liquid, about 5 minutes. Place in the food processor containing the roasted garlic and pulse with the tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice until smooth; season. If you like a coarser texture only pulse a few times. Top with pine nuts and lemon zest.
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