Baba Ghanoush is well known throughout the Middle East as a creamy, smokey dip made with eggplant, lemon juice, and tahini (sesame paste). This Lebanese recipe also uses a couple of tablespoons of yogurt, which I think adds to its creaminess. The trick to capturing this distinctive smokiness is actually charring the skin over an open flame. Unfortunately, attempts to broil the eggplant in the oven never quite come close to the open flame method.
Eggplant selection is key as well, look for one that’s deep purple in color, shiny, firm, and without blemishes. The seeds on the interior will vary—from being very seedy to having very little. If I happen to end up with a seedier one, I’ll just scoop them out after peeling the skin and before incorporating the rest of the ingredients. If left in, the texture of the dip will be unpleasant and the flavor can become bitter.
Baba Ghanoush will be commonly found on the middle eastern table among other small portions of starters for sharing as part of mezze—just waiting to be deliciously scooped up with warm bread.