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Baba Ghanouj – The Italian Way

Baba Ghanouj mesmerized the world since its appearance and inspired some traditional cuisines to adapt it to their own specific methods and culinary accents. Since Italy has a notorious fascination for cooking vegetables and using them in as many of possible ways, it’s really no wonder that it embraced the tradition of one the most popular and traditional Arab dishes. Discover baba ghanouj – the Italian way.

Baba ghanouj (or ghanoush) is an Arab dish made of mixed and mashed eggplants. Very popular in Egypt, this dish gains an even more special flavor if the eggplants are baked over an open flame before they are cooked, so they retain a specific and delicious smoky taste. This light and delightful delicatessen is used in various ways, depending on the region where it's prepared: in some parts of the world, it is seen as an appetizer, thus served as one – this is the case of Levant.

The Egyptians, on the other side, serve it as a side-dish or even a salad (made of a blend of eggplants, onion, tomatoes). Baba ghanouj is also popular in many other countries, including Israel, Turkey, Bulgaria or Greece, countries which all call it, simply, eggplant salad. A very popular form is the Israeli one, now spread in many cuisines, which includes mayonnaise in the eggplant salad, and makes it more moist and delicious.

The Italians have their own recipe when it comes to baba ghanouj. Here are the necessary ingredients:

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 4 tsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion coarsely
  • ¼ cup of roasted red bell peppers
  • 5 tsp of roasted tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 2 tsp of rice wine vinegar (sweet vinegar)
  • 2 tsp of ground coriander

  • 4 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced coarsely
  • ¼ cup of Italian parsley
  • salt and pepper

  • Chop the onion, as well as the red bell peppers and the Italian parsley. Prick the surface of the eggplants with olive oil and bake them at 400F degrees, for 45 minutes or grill them. When ready, set aside to cool. After the cooling, un-peel the eggplants, throw away the skin and keep the pulp.

    In a sauce pan heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat, add the onion, sauté it for 5 minutes, then add the bell peppers, the tahini, the coriander, the cumin, lemon juice and season with salt and pepper for an ambrosial aroma. Cook the mixture for two minutes, then set aside to cool.

    After the mixture reached the right cooling temperature, pour it into a blender and process it, until it reaches a smooth texture. Add now the eggplant pulp and mix until smooth again. After putting baba ghanouj into a serving bowl, sprinkle the remaining olive oil and the parsley on top of it. Serve with toasted bread or pita.

    Tags: baba ganoush recipe, baba ganoush, baba ghanouj, baba ghanouj recipe, eggplant recipes, eggplant recipe, eggplant, italian recipe, italian recipes, italian food, recipes

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