My wife and I are really big fans of homemade hummus. To be honest, personally, I do not think there is any good store bought hummus out there. I’ve tried various brands and they all go to waste, which is a shame in my opinion. There is something about the texture, and flavors, that when scooped with vegetables, or simple pita bread, well, it just makes everything better. There is a similar Levantine dish that my wife was not aware of, and one that I truly love as well, and that is Baba Ghanoush. Typically this dip can be made with an array of ingredients, but the base is grilled and charred eggplants. Let me tell you, this dish is a winner. A perfect appetizer or meal for that matter.
Let’s get started.
- 2 whole Italian eggplants, medium sized
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 whole lemon, juiced
- 4 tbsp Tahini paste
- 1/3 cup olive oil, more to drizzle
- 1 tsp salt, to taste
- Toasted pita or vegetables for serving
Trust me friends, it doesn’t get any easier than this!
Your goal here is to char your eggplants on the grill. I like do do mine over charcoal, however you can get away with roasting this under a broiler if you want. I like the grill however because you are trying to get some of that smokey flavor from the grill.
Start by making a few pokes into the eggplants with a fork. Once your grill is nice and hot, add the eggplants over direct heat. You are going to cook these on the grill for about 30-40 minutes, turning them along the way to ensure that all sides are nice and charred.
The rest is rather easy…
Remove the eggplants and completely wrap them in foil, or place them into a large bowl and cover with foil. Your goal here is to let that heat get under that skin and have it easily be pulled away, almost as if you were roasting poblano chilies.
During this time, add the garlic and lemon juice to a mixing bowl.
Get a salad spinner out if you have one.
After about 10 minutes, uncover, and take an eggplant by the stem, and using a fork and your hands, carefully remove the outer skin, reserving all of the flesh. Place this flesh into your salad spinner. Do the same with the second eggplant.
You will not believe how much water is inside of this eggplant. The goal is to remove all of that excess water and the salad spinner is the perfect candidate for this task.
Remove the strained eggplant flesh to the bowl with the garlic and lemon juice. Using two forks, start mashing and mixing the ingredients. After about a minute of doing this, add the salt and tahini paste, and continue to mix and mash until everything becomes a smooth mixture, similar to hummus but with some texture. Add in the olive oil and give another mix or two.
Taste and season with any additional salt or lemon juice.
Spoon onto a serving dish alongside toasted pita chips or vegetables and dig in.
I served this yesterday, and well, it’s all gone. That’s how good it was, even my daughter partook in the experience and loved it as well. Hope you enjoy!