January 5, 2011

Ganoush is the New Guacamole

Move over guacamole, there is a new boy in town. (Don’t worry, this is only for dramatics. I could never really lose my love for a creamy avocado).

But for those dinner parties and friendly gatherings that need a little extra class and sass, the hot new dish is ganoush – babaganoush – and it is taking all the chips.

A few years ago, I discovered a very purple and very low sodium spread at the San Francisco Ferry Building Farmer’s Market. It turned out to be a delectable babaganoush that was bursting with flavor. As I licked my tasting spoon clean, however, I thought that there was no way that this tasty Arabic treat could be truly salt-free.

But upon inspection, the label read roasted garlic, parsley, lemon, and grilled eggplant. No salt in sight. The combination of the roasting and grilling gave the ganoush its husky flavor and the parsley and lemon lent a bright sparkle.

After years eating tubs of someone else’s vegetable puree, I finally decided to take the dish into my own hands. With some tahini butter, smoked paprika, and a hot oven, I whisked up my very first batch of ganoush to celebrate Stanford’s appearance at the Orange Bowl on Monday Night. And it turned out that both my spread and my team were victorious.

Other than the time it takes to roast the eggplant and garlic (50 minutes at 400 degrees), this is a simple dish to make and most importantly, it has been approved by salt-loving palates.

So get ganoushing and remember, chow on.


  • 1 medium sized Japanese eggplant (the long skinny kind)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 drizzle of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of low sodium tahini
  • 1/4 teaspoon of low sodium (20 mg per teaspoon) horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • Juice from one lemon
  • Some chopped parsley for garnish


1. Turn oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Peel eggplant (with a vegetable peeler) and chop in half. Place the eggplant and garlic cloves on tinfoil and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap up the tinfoil and place the aromatic veggie package into the oven for 1 hour.

3. While the eggplant and garlic are roasting, mix the tahini and the water with a spoon in a deep bowl or a tall plastic container (like the kind that comes with an immersion blender) until it is smooth.

4. Add the lemon juice, the horseradish, the pepper, and the smoked paprika to the tahini/water mixture. Wait.

5. When the eggplant is soft to the touch, add the garlic and eggplant to the tahini/water/lemon juice mixture. Use an immersion blender, cuisinart, or stand-up blender to mix all the ingredients, adding a few more drizzles of olive oil as it blends to make it silky smooth.

6. Garnish with roughly chopped parsley and some chips. Enjoy.

Magdalena CAbrera January 5, 2011 at 8:26 am

Dear SG,

It is GREAT to have you back!

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