My sweet and I were taking a stroll through one of my favorite farmers markets here in Nashville, the downtown Nashville Farmers Market. If you’ve never been to your local farmers market, I highly encourage you to go! Not only is the produce bountiful, beautiful and fresh, but you’re purchasing from local farmers and giving back to the community. A win win in my book. I always catch myself staring in a daze at the vibrantly colored vegetables and fruits displayed. Every turn around the corner you see gorgeous baskets overflowing with dark leafy greens, crunchy carrots (not baby carrots, real rooted carrots!), beets, tomatoes galore, sweet peaches, ripe watermelons, and so much more. My nose captured the sweet fragrance of peaches flowing through the air and I immediately headed in that direction, but the baskets full of deep purple eggplant caught my eye and I was stunned. The first thing my veggie belly said was…baba ghanoush!
Not only do I love eating baba ghanoush, but I really love saying it. Say it out loud with me… bah-bah gane-oush (which actually has several spellings). So what is baba ghanoush anyways? Traditionally it’s a dip/condiment/appetizer made with eggplant and olive oil; but it’s made all over the world in different variations including tahini, onions, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, vinegar, chili powder, cumin, mint, or parsley. I love all variations, but I especially enjoy it made with creamy tahini and refreshing lemon juice. Unfamiliar with tahini? Tahini is simply ground sesame seeds (just like peanut butter is ground peanuts).
Pictured// After roasting, the eggplant will “cave in” on itself, this is normal and exactly what happens when an eggplant has been roasted all the way through. The inside will be very mushy as well, this is good!
Baba Ghanoush is one of my favorite “condiments” besides mustard. I absolutely love how versatile this side can be.
Ways to enjoy |
- Dip } with roasted vegetables, raw vegetables, fruits (grapes, apples, pears are fantastic)
- Appetizer } dollop the baba ghanoush in the center of a plate surrounded by pita bread, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, tomatoes, onions, etc.
- Salad dressing } add 1 Tbs. olive oil + 2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar to about 2 Tbs. baba ghanoush = thick and creamy salad dressing
- Spread } toast, gluten free crackers, Savory Oat Pancakes
- Condiment } general dipping for proteins such as chicken, fish, beef, eggs, beans, tempeh, tofu, etc.
- Sauce } 1/4 cup baba ghanoush + 1/4 cup almond milk (to thin out) = a wonderful creamy sauce for quinoa, gluten free pasta, brown/wild rice, lentils, etc.
Quick nutrient breakdown of Baba Ghanoush |
- Vitamin C, E, K
- Vitamin B3, B6, folate
- Healthy fats
- Antioxidants } most notably an antioxidant called nasunin (antioxidant activity)
- 1 eggplant, roasted whole (yields about 2 cups after roasting)
- 3 cloves garlic, 2 roasted + 1 raw
- 3 heaping Tbs. of tahini
- 1 juice of a lemon
- 1 tsp. sea salt (to taste)
- 1 tsp. cumin
- dash of chili powder/cayenne
- fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees to roast the eggplant (add in the 2 garlic cloves to get a nice roasting on them as well).
- Make several incisions in the eggplant to allow for venting/steaming.
- Roast eggplant in it’s whole form.
- Roast until a knife easily cuts through the middle, about 30 minutes.
- Let eggplant cool enough to handle.
- Simply peel the dark skin of the eggplant away from the soft flesh inside and discard skin.
- In a Vitamix, high speed blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients and blend until smooth.
- Keep in the refrigerator in an air tight container.
Have you ever made your own Baba Ghanoush? What is your favorite way of eating it? I want to know! Share below :)
Have an eggggggcellent day! (ha ha)