If hummus and baba ganoush had a baby, it would grow up to be this smoky eggplant dip. Serve with garlic pita crisps and crudités, or as an accompaniment to lamb koftas.
As promised in my last post, here is the recipe for the smoky eggplant hummus I served with my gluten-free cheese crackers. I’m thankful to have these photos from last week, because it’s unlikely that anything blog-worthy will be coming out of my kitchen while I’m in the middle of our house move this week. Our belongings seem to have multiplied since the last move and for every box I manage to pack, even more possessions keep appearing in the unpacked pile.
In an effort to reduce the volume of things to pack, I’m on a mission to use up or throw away whatever I can. This is resulting in some interesting meals, e.g. right now I am eating slices of cooked sweet potato topped with almond butter, avocado and Sriracha. To be honest, it’s actually not bad. It’s also resulting in some interesting discoveries, e.g. for reasons that are unclear to me, I can’t throw out my husband’s unusable, cracked cycle helmet (he mumbled something about a shrine, but I’m picking my battles this week so have chosen to let that one go).
Back to the hummus… I’m the kind of cook who actually enjoys making things from scratch, but I have to say the difference between using canned chickpeas and DIY soaked chickpeas does not taste significantly different to me. Well not different enough to outweigh the convenience of avoiding an overnight wait for soft legumes. (Apologies if you are a horrified hummus purist reading this right now). It’s just comforting to know that I can go from zero to hummus within minutes whenever I want.
This dip is creamy and smoky, but it’s up to you to decide how spicy and lemony it gets. Use my measurements as a guide, but adjust the seasoning to your own tastes. I would have added a few tablespoons of tahini if I had some in the fridge, so will give that a go the next time I make this dip. (Luckily, tahini is at the top of my shopping list after reading David Lebovitz’ latest recipe for Salted Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies.)
- If you don’t have a grill pan for the stovetop, the eggplant can also be blackened on a BBQ or under the grill inside the oven.
- Sumac is a Middle Eastern spice with a tangy, lemony taste and crimson hue. You can leave this out if you don’t have any, but it is a great addition to any spice collection and can be used in a wide range of dishes.
- This recipe would make a great substitute for the regular hummus in my Middle Eastern Beef Kebab Bowls.
Smoky Eggplant Hummus
- 1 large eggplant
- 400g can chickpeas
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1/2 tsp sumac (optional)
- cracked black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200ºC fanbake, and heat a grill pan to high on the stovetop. Cook the whole eggplant in the grill pan, rotating periodically until each side is blistered and blackened (should take 15-20mins).
- Transfer the eggplant to the oven, and bake for a further 20mins until the flesh is soft. (The eggplant will look wrinkled and collapsed.)
- Remove from the oven and leave until cool enough to handle. Slice in half lengthways and scoop out the flesh, discarding the blackened skin.
- Leave to cool completely, then strain and discard any liquid that has pooled on top. Add the cooked eggplant to the jug of a nutribullet/blender along with the remaining ingredients.
- Whiz until smooth, then taste for seasoning and add more lemon/salt/spices if necessary.
- Garnish with chopped herbs and pistachios, or a swirl of high quality olive oil and sprinkle of paprika. Can be served at room temp, or cool from the fridge if preferred.