Smoky Baba Ghannouj with Oil-Cured Black Olives

  • Serves

    makes 3 cups

  • Cook

    1 hour 10 minutes


Mayonnaise ensures a creamy, smooth texture in this Midwestern riff on the classic Mediterranean dip by cookbook author Amy Thielen. Chopped cumin seeds add spice and a little crunch to the smoky eggplant.


  • 2 medium eggplants (1 3/4 lbs.)
  • 12 tsp. whole cumin seeds
  • 14 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to garnish
  • 1 bunch radishes, trimmed
  • 1 large kohlrabi, trimmed
  • 3 tbsp. mayonnaise, preferably homemade
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 14 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely grated
  • 14 cup oil-cured niçoise olives, pitted and roughly chopped
  • Aleppo pepper, to garnish


Step 1

Heat the broiler to high. Place the eggplants on a foil-lined baking sheet and broil, turning as needed, until blackened all over and very soft, 20 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack and let the eggplant cool for 10 minutes.

Step 2

Meanwhile, place the cumin seeds on a cutting board and drizzle with two drops of olive oil. Chop the seeds repeatedly until coarsely ground. Using a mandoline or knife, thinly slice the radishes and kohlrabi and then place in a large bowl of ice water. Let sit until the slices begin to curl, about 10 minutes. Drain and spread the slices out on a towel to dry.

Step 3

Peel and discard the charred eggplant skin and place the flesh on a cutting board. Finely chop the flesh and then scrape into a bowl. Stir in the chopped cumin along with the 1⁄4 cup of olive oil, the mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, and garlic. Transfer the baba ghannouj to a serving bowl and drizzle with more olive oil. Sprinkle with the olives and Aleppo and serve with the radish and kohlrabi slices.