The Perfect Baba Ghanouj Recipe

The Perfect Baba Ghanouj Recipe

To reach the goal of baba ghanouj perfection
For the eggplant fruit you must have affection
This Lebanese dip is destined to be great
So don’t settle for something second rate
Start off with fruit that are heavy and shiny
While not too big and not too tiny
Pierce holes in the skin so as not to explode
While preparing them as we are told
These unnecessary explosions during preparation
Give good Middle Easterners a bad reputation

To cook them you’ll need a charcoal barbecue
For neither gas nor heat beads will do
If you wish to get that authentic flavour
Think charcoal an ingredient you should learn to savour
The eggplants must grill, their skins must burn
So that deep, rich smokiness they truly earn
When they give up their form, go limp and sag
Put them in a bowl covered with a plastic bag
They’ll continue to soften, the smokiness will infuse
Into the flesh until the heat would diffuse
Then take them out, peal and drain them well
Do not rinse with water as it will break the spell
Those small specks of black are a desirable thing
For the story of charcoal they will loudly sing

Once well drained and cool, you’re ready to proceed
Throw the eggplants into a bowl, cover with sesame seed
That has been pressed into tahini. It’s true Lebanese
Tahini is best, so only use that please
Two tablespoons per medium fruit you’ll require
And the juice of half a lemon to give some fire
But remember that lemon juice is only there
To compliment the creaminess of the tahini affair
The taste of lemon juice should not be intrusive
Its existence must remain elusive
Crush a bit of garlic with a teaspoon of salt
Before you use too much, you really must halt
In the same way the lemon’s used discretely
The garlic’s existence should almost completely
Be hidden, it’s there just to balance the fruit
A heavy hand and garlic turns into a brute

It’s really that simple, needing no herb nor spice
But here’s my most important piece of advice
Mix only with a fork and not a blender
For machines destroy the textural splendor
Season to taste, adjust as you wish
And there you have it, the perfect dish

31 Responses to “The Perfect Baba Ghanouj Recipe”

  1. What a brilliant way to share a recipe. Love it!!
    Fiona from The Self-Raising Kitchen´s last [type] ..2011 – year of the new saucepan

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Fouad Kassab, Denyse Skipper – RSS. Denyse Skipper – RSS said: The Perfect Baba Ghanouj Recipe: The Perfect Baba Ghanouj Recipe To reach the goal of baba ghanouj perfection F… http://bit.ly/dJKQNK [...]

  3. LOL! What a creative way to highlight one gorgeous dish!
    Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul´s last [type] ..Best Wishes with Melting Moments

  4. Ruth Bruten says:

    I LOVE this post! I also happen to think eggplants are one of the most fabulous of all ingredients. So versatile, so very beautiful & soooooooo utterly DELICIOUS!
    Thoroughly deserving of poetry!

  5. Ohhh, love it. Ode to the Eggplant :) Well done :)
    Anna Johnston´s last [type] ..THAI GREEN CURRY IN A HURRY!

  6. This is hilarious!! Bravo!

    Since you keep outdoing yourself, here’s a challenge for you. Why not set it to music and sing it, rap-style! :lol:
    Corinne @ Gourmantic´s last [type] ..Coogee Beach Fireworks- New Year’s Eve 2010

  7. Reemski says:

    Happy New Year Fouad, and what a great post to kick things off!
    Reemski´s last [type] ..Stephanie Alexander’s Rhubarb &amp Cinnamon cake

  8. you crazy man!
    happy new year to you fouad!

    i recently read about a cambodian dish that starts of similar to baba ghanouj but then adds fish sauce, fresh chillies and then some ground pork. that could be pretty tasty too.

  9. Amanda says:

    LOL!
    Loved your little ode, Fouad. But I agree with Corinne – I think it deserves some music and rapping.
    Happy new year!

  10. What talent!!! I love it, and now have a much greater understanding of authentic Baba Ghanoush! Thank you :D
    (Love the photo, too!)

  11. Oops, I mean Ghanouj!
    Jo @ Quirky Cooking´s last [type] ..Menu Plan Monday – 3rd January

  12. charterbot says:

    Only half-past four in the morning here and already I’m laughing, and also hungry for a bowl of smoky aubergine now.

    ::applause to the Bard of Betinjan::

    ::giggle::

  13. Moya says:

    Well, now I know why all my other recipes for baba ghanouj never taste just right – no charcoal barbecue! Sigh, I’ll just have to get my hit at a Lebanese restaurant!
    Moya´s last [type] ..So this is Christmas

  14. Jonathan Saadeh says:

    That was great! In fact, my wife has an eggplant in the refrigerator and is going to make it tonight!

    Thanks for your posts, we just discovered your blog recently and have really enjoyed it.

    Take care,
    Jonathan

  15. Frank Conway says:

    The Kahlil Gibran of gastronomy. Wow. That must have been a struggle. I mean, just to keep it on the recipe. A lesser man would have ended up with pancakes. There are some very nice lines there, and some quotable couplets. You are inventive, and have quite a vocabulary. Not much leaves my truck driver buddies speechless. One of them looked up from his sonnets with eyes misted over. Another one’s eyes look like egg plants!

  16. cecile yazbek says:

    what a passionate, fun-filled & excellent recipe for babbaganouje – sahtein!

  17. Baba Ghanouj via poetry, perfect.
    sara (Belly Rumbles)´s last [type] ..Zilver – Josh’s 18th Birthday

  18. What a marvelous ode to baba ghanouj; I secretly think that the eggplants have to come from Lebanon too. It is hard to describe the sweetness of the little Lebanese eggplant.
    tasteofbeirut´s last [type] ..Hoppin’ John

  19. Witty and brilliant. Need I say more?
    Ellie (Almost Bourdain)´s last [type] ..Mantou 饅頭 Chinese Steamed Buns

  20. Jen says:

    Hahaha, this is brilliant! What a quirky way to share your insights of a recipe! love it.
    Jen´s last [type] ..Golden Century Seafood Restaurant

  21. Paula says:

    This is worth memorizing…doing so should impress the guests as much as the baba ganouj itself!

  22. My absolute favourite is this moreish Lebanese dip! Thanks for the post, its now on my to do list and I wont have to buy a dodgy one at the supermarket or make the trek to Jasmines :)
    The Food Mentalist´s last [type] ..Fruit of the Gods – Cookbook Challenge-Theme 1- Stone fruit

  23. Such a wonderful way to share a recipe!! A perfect dish indeed, and a perfect post. No excuse now not to follow your words – Thank you!
    Deb @ thirtyminutes´s last [type] ..Fish

  24. Lebanese food is so simple and fresh! I will surely try this nice recipe! :)

  25. Love the poem! And I’m so glad to see that you and I are in complete agreement about the proper amount of garlic! I make my BG (and my hummus) with just a hint of garlic.

  26. Samir says:

    ..please take heed and remove any seeds…. ps love love ur ode

  27. Tee hee – this is lovely. And baba ghanouj is my favourite dip of all…!

  28. Monday says:

    I love Lebanese food.Thanks for your nice recipe!
    Monday´s last [type] ..HDB refinancing home loans

  29. Love it! See my Food Verse page, thank you for your kind permission to reproduce.

  30. Olivia Hmelnitsky says:

    Witty and brilliant. Need I say more?
    Olivia Hmelnitsky´s last [type] ..Phen375hq

  31. [...] Baba Ghanouj with Green Chili Pistachio Relish and Pomegranates [...]

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