- Begin by preparing the eggplant. Peel alternating long stripes of the skin vertically on the eggplant. The idea is to keep most of the skin on, which is where the flavor comes from, but removing just enough to lighten the overall flavor and color. Once the strips are removed, slice the eggplant into 2cm cubes.
- Place the eggplant and water into a pressure cooker, along with the salt, grated garlic, thyme and about 1 tbsp of the lemon juice.
- Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. Bring to high pressure over medium-high heat (that would be the second ring on your pressure cooker), reduce the temperature to maintain the pressure and cook for 8 minutes.
- Remove the pressure cooker from the heat, release the pressure quickly by placing the it under cold running water. Remove the lid carefully and take out the eggplant and place it in a strainer. Carefully strain away most of the water, making sure to reserve some of it in case you need to thin the dip later.
- Place the eggplant, tahini, lemon juice and olive into a high-speed blender to produce a very smooth dip (alternatively, smash everything together with a fork or puree with an immersion blender). Start on slow and quickly increase the speed to maximum. Blend until very smooth and creamy. Adjust seasoning and serve warm. You can keep unused babaganoush for 3-5 days covered in the refrigerator.
Serve by spreading the babaganoush in a large bowl, garnishing it with some fresh black olives and a bit of thyme and slathering everything up with some fresh bread. Babaganoush also makes an excellent spread for wraps.
Most traditional recipes call for cooking the eggplant in a hot oven, grill or in a hot pan. The eggplant is often left whole while cooking, then peeled once the flesh inside has softened and the entire eggplant collapses. However, there is simply too much of the flesh (and taste) left on the peel which is discarded. So we found an alternative that left the peel mostly intact.
Image credit: Jack McNulty 2015