RECIPES:
Mar 28, 2022

Eggplant Dip

This creamy roasted eggplant dip comes together with just a few ingredients for an easy appetizer spread.

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There are a couple of different ways to make eggplant dip. Middle Eastern baba ganoush, Moutabal, Greek melitzanosalata, Moroccan zaalouk and French eggplant caviar are several variations. Today I’m sharing my version of roasted eggplant dip. This dip is a creamy combination of eggplants roasted until they are tender, garlic and crème fraîche. This recipe is inspired by a light and airy whipped eggplant spread from Elephanté in Santa Monica, California. The beautiful restaurant with a beach-view comes serves the appetizer with a side of puccia, a puffed, oven roasted bread. It’s most similar to the French dish “eggplant caviar” but richer and creamier from the addition of crème fraîche. Find more dip recipe here.

Eggplant Dip

Eggplant

What is Baba Ganoush? 

While all are made with roasted eggplant, or aubergine, baba ganoush ( sometimes spelled baba ghanoush, baba ghanouj) is made with tahini (a paste made from sesame seeds), yogurt, garlic and spices like ground cumin and red pepper and is often served as an alternative to hummus. Moutabal is similar but without tahini. 

What is Melitzanosalata?

In melitzanosalata, a Greek roasted eggplant dip, the eggplant is chopped for a more rustic dip with olive oil, fresh parsley, red onion and fresh lemon juice or red wine vinegar. In this dip, the eggplant is charred over high heat (rather than roasted) to add a smokey flavor. 

What is Zaalouk?

This Morrocan spread is made with cooked eggplant and tomato heavily spiced with paprika, cumin and cayenne. In addition, this dish is often served as a salad or dip alongside crusty bread.

What is eggplant caviar?

A misnomer, this dip has nothing to do with salty, fish roe. Eggplant caviar, or caviar d’aubergine, is a simple dip similar to this recipe below. While there is also a Russian version with red peppers, this French recipe is typically made with roasted eggplant, olive oil, shallots or garlic, lemon and herbs.

Baba Ganoush

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Eggplant – I use globe, or American eggplant, in this recipe because it is the most common variety stocked in US grocery stores and it has a meaty texture. The eggplants, also called aubergines (referred to this frequently outside the US), are roasted at a high heat until tender.
  • Garlic – I roast the head of garlic with the olive oil to add a more complex and savory flavor. Wrapping it in the aluminum foil also keeps it from drying out as it softens.
  • Olive oil – I opt to use extra-virgin olive oil in this recipe. Its unrefined and made from pure, cold-pressed olives, giving it more of a true olive taste. The eggplant acts as a sponge, soaking up the olive oil as it roasts, making it tender. Because there is plenty of olive oil in the roasted eggplants I don’t add any additional oil to the dip. 
  • Creme fraîche – Crème fraîche is a soured cream made with cultured bacteria. It’s richer and creamier than sour cream with a higher butterfat content. It also adds a tangy, rich consistency to the dip. 
How to Make Eggplant Dip
Step 1: Prep eggplant and garlic.
Step 1: Prep eggplant and garlic.

Heat oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Arrange the eggplants cut sides up on a baking sheet. Place the head of garlic on a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle the eggplant and garlic with olive oil and season with salt. Then wrap the aluminum foil around the garlic. 

Step 2: Roast the eggplant and garlic. 
Step 2: Roast the eggplant and garlic. 

Roast the eggplants until tender and golden brown on top and the garlic is soft, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove and then let cool to room temperature.

Step 3: Add the ingredients to a food processor. 
Step 3: Add the ingredients to a food processor. 

Pat the eggplants dry to remove any excess moisture. Scrape the flesh from the eggplants into a food processor or blender, discarding the skins. Next, squeeze out the roasted garlic cloves and then add to the food processor with the creme fraîche.

Step 4: Blend the eggplant dip. 
Step 4: Blend the eggplant dip. 

Then blend until smooth and season with salt to taste.

Eggplant Dip recipe
Step 5: Garnish and erve the dip. 

Enjoy at room temperature or chill for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.

Spread in a shallow bowl and top with additional olive oil. Garnish with herbs and serve with toasted bread, crostini or pita.

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe 

How to make this recipe dairy free 

Substitute the crème fraîche with a dairy-free sour cream or coconut yogurt.

Serving suggestions 

I love serving this creamy dip with toasted bread, crostini or warmed pita. Serve with raw vegetables for a crudité platter. Try serving with sliced cucumber, my personal favorite. 

How to make Eggplant Dip

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this eggplant dip recipe, I recommend checking out these:

Eggplant Dip

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium eggplant, halved
  • 1 medium head garlic, top ¼” trimmed off
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup crème fraîche
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs for serving (I use chives, dill and parsley)

Instructions:

  • Heat oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Arrange the eggplants cut sides up on a baking sheet. Place the head of garlic on a piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle the eggplant and garlic with olive oil and season with salt. Wrap the aluminum foil around the garlic.
  • Roast the eggplants until tender and golden brown on top and the garlic is soft, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove and let cool to room temperature.
  • Pat the eggplants dry to remove any excess moisture. Scrape the flesh from the eggplants into a food processor or blender, discarding the skins. Squeeze out the roasted garlic cloves and add to the food processor with the creme fraîche.
  • Blend until smooth and season with salt to taste.
  • Enjoy at room temperature or chill for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve. Spread in a shallow bowl and top with additional olive oil. Garnish with herbs and serve with toasted bread, crostini or pita.

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