Classic Baba Ganoush

This baba ganoush recipe is so creamy and delicious! A classic Mediterranean dip, it’s perfect for appetizer spreads or healthy snacking. Baba ganoush lovers, unite! This creamy dip is a Lebanese classic with a smoky finish to the flavor that makes it absolutely irresistible for dipping. Turns out, it’s actually very simple to make at home, and a fabulous eggplant recipe for when you’re brainstorming what to do with this vegetable. This specific baba ganoush recipe comes straight from the book Tables and Spreads by Shelly Westerhausen Worcel of Vegetarian Ventures. It’s an incredible collection to help you nosh your way entertaining and happy hour! Here’s how to make it: and more about this fantastic collection. What is baba ganoush? Baba ganoush is a Lebanese eggplant dip made with roasted or grilled eggplant, tahini, olive oil, and lemon. It’s also spelled Baba ghanoush or baba ghanouj. It’s common in cuisines all over the Mediterranean, but it’s Lebanese in origin. While many Greek restaurants serve baba ganoush, the Greek version of eggplant dip is melitzanosalata. What makes baba ganoush taste smoky? Traditionally baba ganoush is made with eggplant that’s been roasted over a fire or grilled, which infuses a light smoky […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This baba ganoush recipe is so creamy and delicious! A classic Mediterranean dip, it’s perfect for appetizer spreads or healthy snacking.

Baba ganoush

Baba ganoush lovers, unite! This creamy dip is a Lebanese classic with a smoky finish to the flavor that makes it absolutely irresistible for dipping. Turns out, it’s actually very simple to make at home, and a fabulous eggplant recipe for when you’re brainstorming what to do with this vegetable. This specific baba ganoush recipe comes straight from the book Tables and Spreads by Shelly Westerhausen Worcel of Vegetarian Ventures. It’s an incredible collection to help you nosh your way entertaining and happy hour! Here’s how to make it: and more about this fantastic collection.

Tables and spreads
Keep reading for more about Tables & Spreads — recipe excerpted from the book with permission from Shelly Westerhausen Worcel

What is baba ganoush?

Baba ganoush is a Lebanese eggplant dip made with roasted or grilled eggplant, tahini, olive oil, and lemon. It’s also spelled Baba ghanoush or baba ghanouj. It’s common in cuisines all over the Mediterranean, but it’s Lebanese in origin. While many Greek restaurants serve baba ganoush, the Greek version of eggplant dip is melitzanosalata.

What makes baba ganoush taste smoky? Traditionally baba ganoush is made with eggplant that’s been roasted over a fire or grilled, which infuses a light smoky flavor. The easiest way to make it at home is roasted, so here we’ve added smoked paprika for a hint of the smoke we expect from a baba ganoush recipe!

How to make baba ganoush at home

Now, the best baba ganoush you can have is from a Lebanese restaurant! It’s hard to capture the beauty of this traditional eggplant dip at home. But you can get pretty close! Again, the traditional grilled method is what really takes it over the top (see below). But Shelly’s method from Tables and Spreads is simply delicious and easy to pull off. Just make sure to have enough time to roast or grill the eggplant! Here are the basic steps (or jump to the recipe):

  • Roast or grill the eggplant: This takes about 30 minutes total. On the grill, it depends on the size of the eggplant (see below).
  • Remove the flesh from the skin. Quick tip: to remove bitterness, you can remove some of the very seedy parts of the eggplant when you do this.
  • Food process with the other ingredients. Add tahini, lemon, garlic and spices and blend. We like adding a bit of smoked paprika to get in that smoky flavor.
  • Serve! Then top with all the garnishes: olive oil, walnuts, smoked paprika, parsley, etc! The book has a delicious fried walnuts and pomegranate seeds topping idea (head here to learn more about the book).
Baba ganoush

Alternate method: grilled whole eggplant!

The most traditional way to make a baba ganoush recipe is with eggplant charred over an open flame. The best way to do this is with a grill! Here are a few things to note about making a grilled whole eggplant:

  • Grill it whole over medium high heat. That’s 375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cook until collapsed and charred, about 25 to 45 minutes depending on the size of the eggplant. Once you’re done, you can pick back up at the blending step.

About the book: Tables & Spreads!

This baba ganoush recipe comes straight from Shelly Westerhausen Worcel’s beautiful new book, Tables & Spreads. The cover claims it’s a go-to guide for beautiful snacks, intimate gathering and inviting feasts: and is it ever! It’s filled with Shelly’s brilliantly colorful photography style (which we adore) and full of incredible ideas for entertaining spreads. Now that we can all gather again, it’s a perfect manual for

Shelly is a dear friend of ours we’ve known for years: so not only do we vouch for her recipes, we know first hand that she’s an overall incredible human, too. The spreads that she puts together are inventive, unique, and perfect for creative at-home entertaining. And just so you know: you don’t have to share them with friends either! There are plenty of ideas for a happy hour dinner in (a fun concept everyone enjoys over here!). Congrats to Shelly on this fantastic collection!

Baba ganoush recipe

What to use for dipping baba ganoush

What to serve with baba ganoush? There are many foods you can use for dipping: but we have a few favorites. Then of course, there’s how to accessorize your spread! The book has this recipe as part of a Falafel Mezze Spread that includes a few items below. Here’s what to try:

  • Pita bread: Doughy, stretchy warm pita bread is the ultimate dipper (try our flatbread)
  • Pita chips: Or, use the crunchy version (here’s a homemade recipe)
  • Falafel: Try our falafel or the falafel patties recipe from the book
  • Israeli couscous with herbs and olive oil (see the book)
  • Greek yogurt mixed with olive oil and fresh herbs (see the book)
  • Vegetables: Cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, red onion, roasted red peppers

Storing leftovers and make ahead info

You can store leftover homemade baba ganoush refrigerated for up to 3 days. We think it’s best made freshly or within the first day. We did notice that during storage over a few days, the baba ganoush started to discolor. If you’re making it for entertaining, we’d suggest to roast the eggplant in advance and keep it whole: then blend up the dip prior to serving.

This baba ganoush recipe is…

Baba ganoush is vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Baba ganoush

Classic Baba Ganoush


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This baba ganoush recipe is so creamy and delicious! A classic Mediterranean dip, it’s perfect for appetizer spreads or healthy snacking.


Ingredients

  • 2 pounds eggplant (1 large or 2 medium)
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, loosely packed
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • For the topping: Olive oil, chopped walnuts, pomegranate seeds, torn parsley leaves, smoked paprika, etc

Instructions

  1. Roast the eggplant*: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Poke the eggplant all over with a fork to speed up the cooking process and put it on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until the eggplant is easily pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven and let cool. 
  2. Blend the baba ganoush: Once the eggplant is cool enough to handle, slice the eggplant in half and scrape out the insides into a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, removing large portions of seeds as you can (this minimizes any bitterness from the seeds). Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, salt, cumin and smoked paprika. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil and process for another 30 seconds or until light and fluffy. 
  3. Serve: Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and top with desired toppings. Serve with pita chips or pita bread. Leftovers store up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature when serving. 

Notes

*Traditionally eggplant for baba ganoush is grilled, which infuses a distinct smoky flavor. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit). Place the eggplant directly on the grill grates and grill for about 25 to 45 minutes, turning occasionally, until charred and tender and the eggplant shape collapses. Then go to step 2. 

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Baba ganoush, Baba ganoush recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Quinoa tabbouleh is always a hit, starring lemon and fresh herbs! This spin on the classic Middle Eastern salad is an easy healthy side dish. Are you a tabbouleh fan? This Middle Eastern salad is one of the tastiest salads there is. There’s something about the combination of herbaceous parsley, bright lemon and crunchy tomatoes and cucumber that makes magic. Traditional tabbouleh is made with bulgur wheat, a quick cooking whole grain. But seeing as quinoa is the grain of the moment…why not try it with quinoa? Turns out it works perfectly, making a delicious gluten free spin on this classic salad. What is tabbouleh? Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern salad that’s made with fresh parsley, bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumbers, and seasoned with lemon juice and olive oil. Sometimes spelled tabouli or tabbouli, it’s a staple in Greek, Lebanese and Syrian cuisine. You’ll often see it alongside hummus and baba ganoush in a mezze platter. The fresh brightness of the lemon and parsley are the perfect contrast to more savory and heavy flavors. There is no “exact” science on how to make tabbouleh because every cook has their own recipe. We researched the traditional ingredients in tabouli and used those […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Quinoa tabbouleh is always a hit, starring lemon and fresh herbs! This spin on the classic Middle Eastern salad is an easy healthy side dish.

Quinoa tabbouleh

Are you a tabbouleh fan? This Middle Eastern salad is one of the tastiest salads there is. There’s something about the combination of herbaceous parsley, bright lemon and crunchy tomatoes and cucumber that makes magic. Traditional tabbouleh is made with bulgur wheat, a quick cooking whole grain. But seeing as quinoa is the grain of the moment…why not try it with quinoa? Turns out it works perfectly, making a delicious gluten free spin on this classic salad.

What is tabbouleh?

Tabbouleh is a Middle Eastern salad that’s made with fresh parsley, bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumbers, and seasoned with lemon juice and olive oil. Sometimes spelled tabouli or tabbouli, it’s a staple in Greek, Lebanese and Syrian cuisine. You’ll often see it alongside hummus and baba ganoush in a mezze platter. The fresh brightness of the lemon and parsley are the perfect contrast to more savory and heavy flavors.

There is no “exact” science on how to make tabbouleh because every cook has their own recipe. We researched the traditional ingredients in tabouli and used those as a basic for this quinoa version. The first time Alex and I had tabbouleh was back when we first met, at a Greek restaurant in our college town. I remember falling instantly in love with the herbaceous flavor of tabbouleh. (I fell in love with Alex much later!)

How to make quinoa tabbouleh

Ingredients in quinoa tabbouleh

This quinoa tabbouleh recipe is a spin on a traditional tabbouleh using quinoa instead of bulgur wheat! Using quinoa makes this into a gluten-free salad: and you also get all the nutritional benefits of quinoa. The advantage of bulgur wheat is that all you need to do is let it stand in boiling water for 10 minutes. The quinoa cooking process takes just a little longer! But it’s 100% worth the time. Combine the quinoa with these traditional tabbouleh ingredients to make a standout salad:

  • Quinoa
  • Curly parsley (that’s right: see below!)
  • Mint
  • Green onions
  • Tomatoes
  • English cucumber
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

As a note: some tabbouleh recipes are almost 2/3 parsley with only a bit of the grain. Others are all whole grain and only a little bit of the herb. This quinoa tabbouleh recipe falls in the middle. We love parsley-forward tabbouleh recipes, but also wanted to have a good amount of quinoa. Speaking of parsley…

Curly parsley vs Italian parsley: which to use in tabbouleh?

There are two main types of parsley: curly and Italian parsley (also called “flat leaf”). The difference? Curly parsley has very curly leaves and tastes grassy; Italian parsley has leaves that are flat like cilantro and tastes bright and herbaceous. We used to adhere to the mantra that curly parsley is used only as decoration, not in cooking. Only use Italian parsley in your cooking, we’d say! But guess what: the best parsley to use in tabbouleh is curly parsley.

Why? Curly parsley has more texture. When you chop it, it remains light and fluffy, versus Italian parsley that is perfectly flat and can become soggy. Also: the flavor tastes like what you expect from a Greek or Lebanese restaurant. So lesson learned: use curly parsley!

You’ll need to buy quite a lot of parsley for this recipe. It takes a while to chop 2 cups of parsley: but never fear! All the work is worth it. You can use this How to Cut Cilantro video as a guide.

Curly parsley

Make the quinoa in advance if you have time

Cooking quinoa for the quinoa tabbouleh takes about 25 minutes total. You can cook it while you chop the veggies: but the easiest way to do it is cooking it in advance! Here’s why:

  • Making the quinoa in advance is helpful. You don’t want hot quinoa for tabbouleh, you need quinoa that’s room temperature or cold. Why? Right after you cook it, quinoa retains a lot of moisture. You’ll want the grains to dry out a bit so they don’t stick together. Also, the salad is served room temperature. So, the easiest way to make this salad is to cook the quinoa in advance and refrigerate.
  • Here’s a quick tip for cooling quinoa…fast! If you don’t think ahead, you can use this tip for cooling quinoa quickly. Spread it in a single layer on a baking sheet and pop it in the freezer for a few minutes. This allows the steam to dissipate and makes the cooling much faster than plopping it in a bowl.

How to make quinoa tabbouleh…a few more tips!

Once you’ve cooked the quinoa, tabbouleh is a breeze to whip up! The basic method for this recipe is very easy: cook quinoa, chop veggies, add dressing. But there are a few more things to note:

  • Chop the vegetables very finely. You’ll want the veggies to integrate into the texture of the salad well, so chop them as finely as you can.
  • Core and seed the tomatoes. Another tip for reducing moisture is coring and seeding the tomatoes when you chop them. This removes any soggy seeds from the salad. For more, go to How to Cut Tomatoes.
Quinoa tabbouleh

Storage info

Once you’ve mixed up a batch of this quinoa tabbouleh, you can use it as a healthy side dish for lunch and dinner recipes throughout the week! It stores refrigerated for about 3 to 4 days, and holds up pretty well.

How to serve quinoa tabbouleh

Tabbouleh is a fantastic healthy and easy side dish or appetizer for all sorts of meals. Some of our grain salad recipes can double as a main dish, but here we’d recommend keeping it as a side dish. It almost feels like a condiment like an Indian raita: it’s lovely to mix into the flavors already on your plate to bring a fresh brightness. Here are some ways we’d serve it!

This quinoa tabbouleh recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

Print
Quinoa tabbouleh

Quinoa Tabbouleh


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Quinoa tabbouleh is always a hit, starring lemon and fresh herbs! This spin on the classic Middle Eastern salad is an easy healthy side dish. 


Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups finely chopped curly parsley (2 bunches)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 3 green onions
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1/2 English cucumber (1 cup finely chopped)
  • 6 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Make the quinoa: Rinse the quinoa using a fine mesh strainer, then drain it completely. Place it in a saucepan with 2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and simmer where the water is just bubbling for about 17 to 20 minutes, until the water has been completely absorbed. (Check by pulling back the quinoa with a fork to see if water remains.) Turn off the heat and let sit with the lid on to steam for 5 minutes, then fluff the quinoa with a fork. 
  2. Cool the quinoa to room temperature: To do this quickly, dump the quinoa onto a baking sheet and spread it in an even layer. Pop it in the freezer for 2 to 3 minutes until cooled to room temperature. Or, you can make the quinoa in advance and let it sit at room temp or refrigerate until serving (it cools fastest spread on a baking sheet).
  3. Meanwhile, chop the vegetables: Finely chop the parsley and mint. Thinly slice the green onions. Finely chop the tomato, removing the core and seeds. Finely chop the cucumber (if you’re using a standard cucumber and not English cucumber, remove the seeds too.)
  4. Add the dressing: Juice the lemon and whisk it together with the olive oil. In a large bowl, toss the quinoa and vegetables with the dressing, kosher salt and pepper. Taste and adjust flavors as necessary. Serve immediately or refrigerate for 3 to 4 days.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Salad
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern inspired

Keywords: Quinoa tabbouleh

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Perfect Lentils, Every Time

Lentils have a lot going for them. They’re inexpensive, environmentally friendly, highly nutritious, and come in a range of colors and textures. All that, and they can…

The post Perfect Lentils, Every Time appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

best lentil recipe

Lentils have a lot going for them. They’re inexpensive, environmentally friendly, highly nutritious, and come in a range of colors and textures. All that, and they can be truly delicious—if you know how to cook them properly.

Lentils are one of my favorite plant-based sources of protein, right up there with their legume cousins, black beans and chickpeas. The beauty of lentils is that they don’t take long to cook (around 20 minutes or so), whereas beans require a couple of hours on the stove. Since I’m generally in a hurry before dinner, their quick cook time is a big selling point.

lentil varieties before cooking (featuring regular green lentils, red lentils, French green lentils and black beluga lentils)

If you’re trying to eat better after the holidays, just add more lentils. They’re great in salads, soups (this lentil soup is famous), side dishes, and even with pasta. Lentils continue to soak up nearby flavors as they rest, so they typically make great leftovers.

Since I have so many recipes with lentils on the blog, I wanted to share a primer on how to cook lentils. I’ve been tweaking my technique over the years, and I think you’ll appreciate this method. It yields perfectly cooked lentils, every time. Here we go!

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Za’atar Spice Blend

I’m having a moment with za’atar, a classic Middle Eastern seasoning. Za’atar is a unique blend of herbal, earthy, savory, tangy and salty flavors. Za’atar has been…

The post Za’atar Spice Blend appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

za'atar spice blend recipe

I’m having a moment with za’atar, a classic Middle Eastern seasoning. Za’atar is a unique blend of herbal, earthy, savory, tangy and salty flavors.

Za’atar has been enjoyed for centuries on the other side of the world, yet it has gained popularity in the U.S. over the past five years or so. To be honest, I didn’t understand the fuss when I sampled a za’atar blend from Trader Joe’s several years ago. But then…

zaatar ingredients

Everything changed when za’atar landed on our table at Shaya in New Orleans. They simply mixed their house blend of za’atar with olive oil and served it with crusty bread, for dipping. I fell in love with za’atar that night, and couldn’t stop going back for more.

This recipe is my best attempt at recreating the flavors in Shaya’s recipe, and I think it’s pretty close. Za’atar is versatile and complements many savory meals—you’ll find all of my suggestions below.

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Best Tabbouleh

Finally! I’ve figured out how to make the best tabbouleh. It’s just as good, if not better than, my favorite local Middle Eastern restaurant’s. If you try…

The post Best Tabbouleh appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

best tabbouleh recipe

Finally! I’ve figured out how to make the best tabbouleh. It’s just as good, if not better than, my favorite local Middle Eastern restaurant’s. If you try it, I think you’ll agree.

Tabbouleh (also spelled tabouli) is a super fresh herb and bulgur salad, with parsley being the number one ingredient. It’s dotted with diced cucumber and tomato, and dressed simply with olive oil and lemon juice. It’s refreshing, light and packed with healthy ingredients.

tabbouleh ingredients

You’ll often find tabbouleh as a side dish on Mediterranean menus. It’s right at home with hummus, baba ganoush, falafel, feta, olives… all of my favorite things.

I’ve attempted tabbouleh at home over the years, and I’m so pleased to share what I’ve learned with you today. Ready to make some great tabbouleh?

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