Baba Ganoush

By MarcusSamuelsson.com Editors

Difficult to pronounce and even more difficult to (politely) eat, baba ganoush is popular across the Middle East, especially in Egypt. Made from eggplant, baba ganoush typically accompanies flatbread or pita. Similar to my eggplant-chickpea dip recipe, baba ganoush is delicious as an appetizer or a main course. Smoky, sweet, and a little bitter, it gets its savory taste from mashed eggplant. Drizzled with oil and seasoned with garlic, lemon, and green herbs, this dip works well on any cracker or bread.

Originally from the levant, a region of the Eastern Mediterranean that includes Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, over the centuries baba ganoush found its way down to Egypt and up to Greece and Turkey. In Egypt, it is often served as a side dish with roasted meats or fish, unlike how Americans typically see it consumed.

Baba ganoush celebrates the rich Mediterranean heritage of Egypt. Instead of its usual appetizer role, try serving it alongside grilled beef, or as part of a salad.