It’s the most wonderful time of the year … if you’re a Christmas “geek” like I am! I love to entertain during the holiday season! There’s almost always going to be a dip available when I host a gathering. Every year I whip up one that’s new. So, here’s this year’s creation—an inspired take on baba ghannoush (Middle Eastern eggplant dip). Poached pistachio puree is what makes this recipe special. I use it here in place of tahini for a unique taste twist and velvety texture. And beyond just a dip, baba ghannoush makes a delightful bruschetta topping … including this version. Serve it as a festive (and Meatless Monday-friendly!) pick that all of your family and friends—vegetarian or otherwise—can enjoy! Happy holidays!
Calories saved: 15
Why it’s better for you? Both traditional baba ghannoush and this version are good for you. What’s interesting about this recipe is that you’ll get lutein and zeaxanthin from the pistachios!
Disclosure: I work with Wonderful Pistachios to help consumers make healthful snack choices.
- 1/2 cup shelled unsalted or lightly salted roasted pistachios
- 1 regular (1 1/4-pound) eggplant
- Juice of 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1 red hot chili pepper, extra thinly sliced crosswise
- In a medium saucepan, bring the pistachios and 3 cups cold water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer covered until the pistachios are softened (poached), about 20 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the pistachios and the 1/4 cup cooking liquid to a blender and puree until velvety smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Grill over direct high heat (or broil) the whole eggplant, turning occasionally, until just charred, about 5 to 7 minutes. Then transfer to a baking pan and bake uncovered in 375°F oven until fully cooked and softened, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to slightly cool, about 5 to 10 minutes
- Meanwhile, stir together the pistachio puree, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and cumin in a medium bowl until creamy.
- Peel the eggplant. Finely mince the peel and stir into the pistachio mixture. Cut the eggplant into small dices, draining off any excess juices. (Note: The eggplant will be mushy, which is what you want here!) Stir the eggplant dices into with the pistachio mixture until evenly combined. Cover and chill the baba ghannoush in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to allow flavors to blend.
- Serve as desired, such as a dip or as bruschetta, topping sprinkled with parsley and chili pepper.
Per serving: 90 calories, 5g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol., 150mg sodium, 9g total carbohydrate, 4g dietary fiber, 3g sugars, 2g protein
The “Before” Version
Per serving: 105 calories, 7g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 9g total carbohydrate, 4g dietary fiber, 2g sugars, 3g protein
- Try poached pistachio puree in place of tahini for an intriguing change of taste and texture.
- Don’t discard the eggplant skin; finely mince it and stir into the dip for smoky flavor, extra texture and, of course, no food waste.
- Use fresh parsley generously, not just as an afterthought.
- A hint of heat and red color from red hot chili pepper makes this recipe stand out!