Baba Ganoush Stuffed Mushrooms

I’ve always been partial to baba ganoush.

My warm feelings for this eggplant puree started the first time I heard the word, before I even knew what it was.  Baba ganoush? That sounds fun.  Exotic, but playful.  Looking back on it, I might have associated it with Babar the Elephant, who seemed to be such a nice elephant fellow, so smart and sharp-looking in that green suit.

When I found out how simple it is to make baba ganoush, I was charmed.  All you need is eggplant, a few dollops and dashes of other ingredients and a blender.  I love low work/high results recipes.  I awarded it a few more points for using eggplant, a relatively inexpensive but substantial vegetable I don’t cook with too much.

I like that baba ganoush mingles comfortably with vegetarian and paleo peeps alike.  You gotta give props to a dish that can hang out with everyone.

Baba ganoush is typically served with crackers and pita chips.  When I dropped those things from my life, I struggled with how to eat this eggplant dip.  Carrots and peppers worked to scoop it up, but felt a little spartan.  Cold veggie dip on cold veggies?  It just didn’t seem like much of a treat.  I would rather eat some bacon-wrapped dates.  But nonetheless, I retained a lingering affection for baba ganoush.

Then last week, the proximity of eggplant and mushrooms in my vegetable crisper drawer made me think to use this flavorful, mid-eastern dip as a stuffing for mushrooms.  It worked.  The earthiness of the mushrooms and the heat of the oven made the baba ganoush interesting again.

My friend L.B. and I finished off a dozen or so baba ganoush stuffed mushrooms in one post-workout, pre-cooking session last weekend.   She agreed the recipe was worth sharing here on the blog.

Baba Ganoush Stuffed Mushrooms

Eggplant, 1

Olive oil, 1 tablespoon +2 tablespoons

Tahini, 2 tablespoons

Lemon juice, 1 teaspoon

Garlic, 1 clove

Cumin, 1 teaspoon

Cayenne pepper, one or two shakes

Salt, ½ teaspoon or more (to taste)

Pepper, to taste

Mushrooms, 20 or so (about 1 ½ pound)

Options to garnish: Drizzle of olive oil, fresh parsley, hot sauce, chopped olives

  1. Remove top stem and peel eggplant.
  2. Chop eggplant into pieces. (My pieces were about 1 inch square.)  Toss eggplant with olive oil.
  3. Place eggplant on greased baking tray.  Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until soft.  Remove from oven and let cool.
  4. Add tahini, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper and blend in food processor until smooth.
  5. Wash mushrooms, pat dry and remove stems.   You don’t need the stems for this recipe but don’t discard them.  You can toss them into a stirfry or sauté with garlic and spinach for another tasty side dish.
  6. Stuff each mushroom cap with about a tablespoon of babaganosh.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until mushrooms are soft.
  7. Garnish if desired and serve.