I am an avowed dip fanatic. If I can dip a piece of bread or a chip or a veggie or a finger in something you can be damn sure I'm gonna do it. And I've always loved the idea of Baba Ganoush (a dip/spread from the Eastern Mediterranean made of eggplant, sesame, garlic, lemon, and olive oil). I mean, all those ingredients are fabulous! So how is it that most Baba Ganoush on the market is just.... bland??
Well, being someone whose entire life revolves around making things taste better, I figured I should just make my own, and - TADA!!! - I came up with a smoky, roasted garlicky version and then kicked it up a notch with some of my Ras el Hanout Spice Blend. I pretty much want to dip ALL the things into it, and I think you will too.
Let's get dipping, shall we?
Grilled Baba Ganoush
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
2-3 large Italian or Japanese eggplants (about 3 pounds total)
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon roasted garlic (see recipe here) or 6-8 cloves of fresh garlic
1/4 cup tahini paste
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Ras el Hanout Spice Blend
Trim the ends from the eggplants and use a vegetable peeler to remove the skins. Slice the peeled eggplants into 1/2-inch planks. Using the tip of your knife, cut cross hatches into the eggplant planks on both sides. Sprinkle the eggplant planks on both sides with kosher salt and allow to sit for about 5 minutes. This will draw out some moisture and help the eggplant soften easier on the grill.
Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium heat. Rub the eggplant planks all over with olive oil and grill, turning occasionally, until you've got some real nice char and the eggplant is nice and soft.
Transfer grilled eggplant to a food processor and add roasted (or raw) garlic, tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, and Ras el Hanout. Process until smooth and fluffy. Season to taste with salt. Serve, topped with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of Ras el Hanout.