Baba Ghanoush

My favorite Baba Ghanoush Recipe.  This is from the great Seattle Restaurant Cafe Flora, Cafe Flora Cookbook. This is a real favorite.  With a texture similar to guacamole, it is ideal served as an appetizer along with maybe a hummus and a bruschetta.  You'll love it.

It is in charring and blistering the skin of the eggplant that you create the distinctive smoky falvor of baba ghanoush.  Mixing the dip by hand gives it a pleasingly chunky texture.

1 large firm eggplant, about 1-1/2 pounds

3 tbsp tahini

3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

1 tablespoon olive oil

GET READY.   If you're going to grill the eggplant over coals, get them going.  If you're using a gas flame, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  If you're using a broiler, turn it on.

CHAR THE EGGPLANT.  There are three methods after which you set the eggplant aside to cool.

On a grill.  cut the eggplant in half and grill the eggplant halves until all the surfaces are blistered and charred and the eggplant deflates and becomes tender.

Over a Gas flame on the Stove.  Turn the gas flame on medium-high.  Using tongs, hold the whole eggplant over the flame, and turn it every20 or 30 seconds until all the skin is blistered and charred.  This may create smoke, so turn on your exhaust fan or open a window.   To finish the cooking, put the charred eggplant in a baking dish, and roast in the 400 degree oven until it is tender and deflated, for about 30 minutes.

Under the Broiler:  Turn on the broiler, and put the whole eggplant on the broiler pan under the broiler.  You may hae to lower the oven rack to fit the eggplant under the broiler.  Turn the eggplant over every couple of minutes until the entire eggplant is blistered and charred.  Turn the oven to bake and lower the oven temp to 400 degrees. Put the charred eggplant in a baking desh and roast until it is tender and deflated, for about 30 minutes.

MIX THE TAHINI DRESSING:  In a small bowl, mix the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt and blend well.

REMOVE THE EGGPLANT SKIN:  When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, remove the stem cap and scrape off most of the skin (a small amount remaining is OK)  Roughly chop the soft flesh, trying not to mash it up too much.

MIX THE EGGPLANT WITH THE TAHINI DRESSING.  Put the eggplant in a bowl and mix in the tahini dressing.  Fold in the parsley.  Taste and add more salt if needed.  Drizzle with olive oil and serve as a dip with crackers, sliced wheat baguette or other bread rounds.



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