Across the Levant, eggplants are grilled and mashed to make baba ghannouj, a silky, delicious dip for flatbreads and vegetables. Charring the skin of the eggplant imbues the pulp with a smoky flavor, while incorporating full-fat Greek yogurt accentuates the dip's sumptuous texture and tartness. This version, from chef Fouad Kassab's family in Ain el Delb, Lebanon, is topped with fresh mint and a shower of ruby-red pomegranate seeds. It first appeared in our October 2014 issue with the story Home for the Harvest.
- 2 lb. eggplants, halved lengthwise
- 1⁄3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 tbsp. tahini
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup plain, full-fat yogurt
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1⁄4 cup pomegranate seeds
- Mint leaves, for garnish
Heat oven broiler. Place eggplant cut side down on a baking sheet; prick all over with a knife. Broil, flipping once, until skin is charred and eggplant is tender, 20–25 minutes. Transfer eggplant to a colander set over a bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Let cool; peel. Place lemon juice, tahini, and garlic in a food processor; let sit 10 minutes. Add reserved eggplant, the yogurt, salt, and pepper; pulse until slightly smooth and transfer to a shallow dish. Using a spoon, make a well on the surface; drizzle with oil. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and mint.