Hummus gets so much attention and glory. Restaurants feature hummus mixed with every vegetable under the sun, ranging from sun dried tomatoes to red peppers. School children now eat this dip with pitas as a lunch addition without a thought. Nutritionists recommend hummus as a healthy snack. But there is one cousin to hummus that is just as delicious, but barely gets any love, and that is Baba ghanoush. This is ironic because this dip was born from the love of a daughter towards her father.
Can you feel that love?
In Arabic baba ghanoush means “pampered papa.” According to old Arabic folklore originating in Syria, there was a caring daughter who mashed all of the food she cooked for her elderly toothless father, or baba, as he was unable to chew. One of the vegetables she mashed was eggplant, with the addition of olive oil, lemon juice, and tahini. This was the precursor to the popular baba ghanoush today. But you don’t have to be toothless to fall in love with this dip. 😉 Baba ghanoush is at once silky in texture and smoky in flavor, versatile with fancy accompaniments from seeded crackers to fresh baguette slices. However, traditional Arabs from the Levant eat baba ghanoush for breakfast with pita bread and a variety of pickles and vegetables. This dip was standard fare in all of my family picnics, not prone to spoiling in the summer heat like mayonnaise based dips. But I really love dressing baba ghanoush up for the holidays like Christmas, because the red from the pomegranate seeds and parsley traditionally added look so festive. I switched up the pomegranates for chopped bell pepper in the picture below for similar effect. It’s fun to pair this dip with crackers, baguette slices, or in this case, brioche toasts:
Want to learn how to make this easy recipe? Just click on the video link below:
1 large or 2 small eggplants
Juice of 1 lemon, to taste
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 cup tahini
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Liquid smoke, optional
½ cup Fresh chopped parsley
Pita bread, for serving
Directions in the video above. 😉