Eggplant For Dummies

July 30, 2012   33 Comments

My partner is allergic to eggplant so there hasn’t been one eggplant post on Snack Girl. That changes today!

Eggplant Dip Recipe

I want to be clear - I am not calling you a “dummy”. I would never do that. But, eggplant is one of those produce items that can cause confusion.

Once, in San Francisco, a guy came up to me with an eggplant and said, “Excuse me, do you know how to cook this?” HA! Turns out, he didn’t want my number, he just wanted me to teach him about eggplant.

Eggplant is fruit related to tomatoes and it has a ton of nutrients for very few calories. You cannot go wrong eating eggplant unless you soak it in olive oil. Eggplant will act like a sponge so fried eggplant (while delicious) is a bit heavy.

My favorite way to cook eggplant is to roast it because I am too lazy to peel it. Then, you put it in a food processor and make a dip or spread. The classic eggplant dip is called “Baba Ganoush” and it calls for a sesame paste (tahini).

When I looked at the $9 price tag for a jar of tahini at my local supermarket, I decided to find a substitute. I used my favorite healthy peanut butter which contains roasted peanuts and a little salt instead of tahini and it worked.

This recipe is SO simple, your cat could make it. Seriously.

Serve this eggplant dip with carrot sticks, red pepper slices, or chips. It is also a great sandwich spread (bye-bye mayo).

How do you cook eggplant?

Eggplant Dip Recipe

1.6 from 15 reviews

(makes ¾ cup or 3 servings)

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1 small eggplant (1 pound or less)
1 garlic clove
½ lemon
1 tablespoon peanut butter (no sugar added)
salt to taste


Heat oven to 450F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and slice your eggplant in half lengthwise. Place the white side down (purple side up) and poke with a fork. Cook for 20 minutes or until the skin is blackened.

Peel garlic and eggplant and add to food processor. Squeeze in lemon juice, peanut butter, and salt and blend until smooth.


Nutrition Facts

For one serving = 69 calories, 3.0 g fat, 10.1 g carbohydrates, 4.1 g sugar, 2.9 g protein, 5.5 g fiber, 100 mg sodium, 2 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 33 )

Thanks for the tips. I never cooked egg plant and I"m not even sure if I like it, but I'll give it another try.

I recently grilled it and used it in a couscous salad (recipe posted on my blog). I have also dipped it in an egg wash and saltine crumbs and fried it. Eggplant parmesan is another favorite! :) This recipe sounds really good and while I don't have a cat, I will see if I can get my chihuahua to help! Gotta try it and really appreciate your substitution for expensive tahini. :)

Hi Lisa,

My husband is middle Eastern and we are big Baba Ganosh fans and eat lots of eggplant. I love your version with the peanut butter instead of the Tahini very clever. I'm going to pin it and then give it a try.

Awesome recipe, Lisa, My wife loves baba ganoush, so this will be a fun surprise.

When I make my own hummus, I take a Tbsp or so of roasted sesame seeds (I think the shaker-top container was a few bucks at a local "ethnic" supermarket), toss them in our high-end blender to make a sesame powder. I use that instead of tahini and substitute water for oil and it seems to taste just fine. I'll likely do the same thing for the baba.

I peeled and sliced 3/8" to 1/2" thick eggplant with onions, peppers and tomatoes. Tossed them with oil, salt and pepper and roasted them on the grill with Italian sausage. Tossed with pesto and served on pasta just last evening.

This sounds awesome! I recently have become a veggie by choice and my youngest (4) is a self made veggie. I'm going to try this this week and hopefully he will try it. I will use almond butter instead of PB. Thanks for sharing!

AAAAGGGGH! I wish I had seen this post before I created an olive oil sponge out of an eggplant last night and am dealing with all the residual guilt from eating it. And it wasn't even good! This recipe looks delicious, I will have to re-do my eggplant experience and purge the pre-snack-girl mistakes from my mind. Thanks for such a great blog!

I'm going to be getting my first eggplant from my CSA tomorrow and was wondering what to do with it when I saw your post! What timing!! Thanks, Snack Girl!!

This eggplant dip sounds yummy and easy! One way we enjoy eggplant is as a gratin when fresh tomatoes are available. The aroma fills the whole house: Cut 2 lrg. eggplant and 2 lrg onions each 1/4" thick, sprinkle with salt, italian herbs and olive oil, bake on foil-lined cookie sheets at 350F until soft, about 30min. Cut 2 lrg tomatoes in 1/4" slices. Arrange vegetables in overlapping layers in pan, sprinkle with salt, minced garlic and light layer of bread crumbs [Parmesan, red pep flakes, panko, parsley]. Extra panko mix over last layer and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake 40 mins 350F. So good!

We also love eggpl parm and ratatouille. Baked or fried eggpl slices freeze well too to save time later on.

eggplant is my FAVORITE! I love it so much-- having given up meat- it has such a meaty chew to it- I throw it in with my lentils- as they cook- or make a huge pot of ratatouille-- it is the best!

Okay, I'm one of those who has never cooked eggplant;)

When you say to poke it with a fork, do you mean once or all over?

@Sally Curtis Wimberley - awesome "throw it in with my lentils" suggestion! My wife and I have given up meat (and eggs and dairy), too, so this sounds like a good way to bring back that "meaty" chew.

Thank you!

@Phoebe - I mean all over - like 5 or 6 times. Thanks for the question!

Yum yum! I have been looking for a healthier veggie dip. This looks soooo tasty!


You can also subsitute greek yogurt for the tahini. There's an eggplant dish called "Ikra" which is sometimes referred to as "poor man's caviar" and is enjoyed by many middle easterners and Russians. It is delicious as a dip or spread onto pita bread. Here is a simple recipe:…

No @Phoebe, you're not the only one. I love Baba Ghanoush and have never even thought about making it myself. I will have to find an eggplant and try this. It sounds yummy!

This recipe sounds like a keeper.. I love eggplant.. Thanks for the other few tips from your readers..

We eat our eggplants in a ratatouille variation or a pasta primavera variation. We get lots of various vegetables in summer, with a garden and a CSA, so whatever we have around goes in the pot with the chopped eggplant. Right now it's yellow squash, tomatoes, brussels sprouts, corn cut off the cob, onions, garlic..nummy.

I'm Greek and live in SF! I use eggplant a lot. So many of my friends were not lovers of the veg until they came for dinner. Sometimes I buy the really small ones and put them on a kabob and BBQ it! Goes great with Kabob chicken, steak and other veggies. One thing I learned is that when you kabob dont mix the meat with the veggies. Some cook faster than others so do them separately. BON eating!

Eggplant is my favorite vegetable. I'm so glad to find out that it's super nitritious, too! I usually prefer to roast or grill it, but sometimes I'll make Spiced Eggplant Stew with Tomatoes and Chickpeas. (Garam Masala works well as a spice for this.). Eggplant is also great with Amy ofthe Asian stir fry sauces.

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