This recipe was written by Stephanie Searor, MS RD LDN
Babaghanoush is a popular eggplant dip originating from the Mediterranean. It’s easy to make, super delicious, and can be modified with a variety of seasonings and spices. It can also be a recipe that is doubled (or tripled) for a crowd! It’s a perfect recipe for summertime, especially when everyone is swimming in bushels of eggplants from their garden or the farmer’s market (dreamy, right?). One of the great reasons to sous vide the eggplant instead of roast them is to help prevent heating the house (especially if you live in the south, like me). Who wants a hot oven on in the middle of summer? Not I.
There are a couple of considerations to this recipe; first, traditional babaghanoush uses roasted eggplant, which sous vide cooking can’t achieve. However, a quick broil can help to give the eggplant it’s signature charred, smoky flavor. The addition of smoked paprika also helps to up the richness.
Eggplant also contains a lot of moisture, which is usually lost during roasting, but microwaving helps to draw out a lot of the excess water; before any of that, the eggplant also gets sprinkled with salt and left on paper towels to ensure the most water drains out as possible. The ideal texture for babaghanoush is thick, rich, and creamy, not watery.
This recipe might seem a little more involved than other sous vide recipes, but most of the prep work has to do with the eggplant. Other than that, it’s pretty hands off.
Sous Vide Babaghanoush Recipe
Makes about 12 ¼ cup servings
30 minutes prep time
2 hours total cook time
- 2 medium eggplants, peeled and sliced into 1-inch thick rounds
- 4 cloves raw garlic, smashed and minced
- lemon juice and zest from two lemons
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Place the eggplant pieces on paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and sprinkle liberally with salt. Let sit for 20 minutes (or longer, if you have time). The towel will become saturated, change towels if needed.
- Prepare the sous vide water bath and set the circulator to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Preheat a broiler or grill pan until very hot. Or, if you have a kitchen torch, this is a great way to get some use!
- Quickly rinse off the eggplant (to remove the extra salt), and microwave (still on the towel) for one to two minutes, or until they are steaming and begin to look shriveled.
- Transfer the eggplant to the hot grill pan or to a piece of foil and broil for a few minutes, until charred and smoky (or use your kitchen torch). From here, transfer the eggplant to a vacuum bag or zip-top bag. Submerge when the water is heated and cook for at least one hour, up to two hours, until the eggplant is super soft.
- Remove the eggplant from the bag, and drain if there is a lot of extra water in the bag; reserve some of the liquid to add to the babaghanoush if needed.
- Place in a blender or food processor. Add the garlic, lemon juice and zest, half of the olive oil, tahini, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, and parsley, and process until smooth. If it’s very thick, add more olive oil or lemon juice, or even some of the cooking liquid. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Garnish with sesame seeds, a drizzle of olive oil, more parsley, lemon zest, or even chopped olives. Serve with fresh pita bread or vegetables for dipping.
Sous Vide Babaghanoush Nutrition Information
Nutrition information gathered from Nutrium. Nutritionals can vary depending on ingredients used.