Sunday, June 22, 2014

52WoC Week 22: Turkish - Bootleg Baba Ganoush

Before I get into this I just want to say this might get vulgar because I have some strong feelings about this. Fuck hummus. Over the past 10 years every soccer mom and health nut has praised the Mediterranean dip. Shit is over done and honestly 95% of the stuff in the store is just bland or has been fucked up with some other random flavor, but that's honestly not my issue with it. My issue is that baba ganoush is 100 times better and it's playing second fiddle. Imagine if Kelly Rowland became the super star and Beyonce1 was stuck playing shows at malls - baba ganoush, not hummus, should be married to Jay-Z. Baba ganoush brings so many amazing flavors that quite frankly hummus lacks2. Baba ganoush has this beautiful smokiness that is coupled with a richness from pure olive oil. It makes for the perfect dip and sandwich spread. But here we are celebrating the all mighty chickpea when in reality we should celebrate the all mighty, all knowing, all delicious eggplant.

So by birth, I am Greek, so I grew up eating this dip all the time. Turkey and Greece may have some hard feelings but their food is almost identical. The only reason I call this a bootleg recipe is because it doesn't require a ton of special ingredients aka tahini. Tahini is really the flavor that makes hummus and baba ganoush but without it you get more of a pure eggplant flavor coming through the dip. While this may not be completely authentic, it makes for an amazing dip.

The key to this dip is getting the eggplant infused with that smoke flavor. I ended up reading an article over on Serious Eats about this and have been using Kenji's technique ever since. He places the eggplant directly onto the burner to get the maximum amount of char on the eggplant, really infusing that smokiness. Plus, it's really fun to burn something directly on your burner.

Bootleg Baba Ganoush

Qty Ingredient Procedure
1 large eggplant (about 1.5 lb)
  1. Place the eggplant directly over the gas burner. Turn and cook until completely charred and fully cooked - about 35-40 minutes. If you don't have a gas burner, broil them charring the entirety of the eggplant.
  2. Remove from the heat. Let sit for 5-10 minutes to cool down. Peel carefully. Chop into large pieces
2 cloves garlic
  1. Puree garlic, eggplant, and the sesame oil in a food processor.
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 cup olive oil
  1. While the food processor is running, add the oil slowly until it is all incorporated thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper.

To start off, place your eggplant directly on your gas burner. You will want to char every single square inch of the eggplant and cook it until it is completely limp and cooked through. This takes about 35 minutes. Be careful with the leaves - if you burn them, your house will smell like a college dorm room. If you don't have a gas stove, you can do this over a grill in about the same time. If a grill isn't available, using a broiler for about 45-50 minutes will work as well. Once they are completely cook, let the eggplant cool for 5-10 minutes. Remove the skin and cut into large chunks.

Combine the garlic, eggplant, and sesame oil in a food processor. While the food processor is running, slowly add the olive oil to make sure it gets incorporated thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. If you want to go fancy, put in a bowl with a touch of paprika and some high quality olive oil and you will feel like you're in your local Greek spot.

  1. Impossible to imagine I know but imagine a world where JT was less popular than JC.  
  2. I really gotta say, I know I'm saying some bad things about hummus but it truly can be something delicious when done right. Zahav in Philadelphia for example has various hummuses (hummi?) that are on point  


  1. Shut up, hummus is amazing and you just don't like it because your hipster ass is allergic to it. Being allergic to anything is dumb as fuck, your Charmin soft dawg.

    1. Damn, that cut me to my soul. You have a good writing style, you should write about reality TV as if it were a fantasy sport. Soggy ass hipster.

    2. I like your post ironically

    3. The way you use words hurts.

  2. You should really do more turkey recipes and salt-domed fish.