“But why would I make baba ganoush if I could just eat hummus?” Mara asked when we set out to make the ultimate baba ganoush recipe. At that moment, I couldn’t help but shrug my shoulders. Hummus is generally awesome and baba ganoush is often, well, weird.
Then we nailed the method and ingredients you see here, and neither of us could stop scooping up more. Baba ganoush, when you get it right, is irresistibly smooth and luxurious, smoky, and savory.
In its most basic form, baba ganoush is made with eggplant, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt. I found that adding a tiny bit of ground cumin, smoked paprika and fresh parsley takes it to the next level.
Baba ganoush is similar to hummus, but it calls for grilled or roasted eggplant instead of chickpeas. Both dips originated in the Eastern Mediterranean, and they’re often served together with pita bread and raw, crisp veggies. You can use baba ganoush like you would hummus—as a dip or spread.
There are a few considerations when it comes to baba ganoush. First up: do you grill the eggplant or roast it? I don’t have a grill, so I roasted my eggplant.
To make up for the grilled flavor, I halved the eggplants and roasted them cut-side down for caramelized deliciousness. (Roasting them halved also means that your eggplant cooks faster, and you don’t risk an entire eggplant exploding inside your oven.) Using smoked paprika as a garnish adds some extra smokiness, too.