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In its most traditional form, baba ganoush is a simple dish of Lebanese origin consisting of roasted eggplant, olive oil, lemon juice and (sometimes) tahini, eaten as a dip for bread or pita. But we love iterating on the basic recipe, whether it’s by swapping other mashable vegetables for the eggplant (check out Michael Solomonov’s recipe for zucchini baba ganoush).

In our baba ganoush recipe, we stick with eggplants but tweak the classic cooking method for cooking them in cast iron by roasting halved eggplants in a skillet. This both speeds up cooking time and lightly caramelize the vegetable’s flesh, making for a more savory, roasty flavor.

And to get double duty out of your skillet, we pair the creamy dip with skillet-cooked pitas.

Field Notes

1.

This recipe makes enough pitas and dip for 4 servings, but it can easily be doubled up (though you’ll need two skillets or a No.12 Field Skillet to cook two eggplants simultaneously.

2.

Yogurt adds extra creaminess and a slightly tangy flavor, but you can make this recipe vegan by leaving it out, and adding another tablespoon of tahini.

3.

Feel free to dress the top of your baba ganoush with extra spices (za’atar, cumin, and sumac are all excellent adornments), as well as chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, or other fresh herbs.

Recipe: Skillet Pitas with Baba Ganoush

Yield: 4 servings

Instructions

1.

Make the pita dough: Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a shaggy dough. Knead the dough in the bowl by hand until it’s smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes (you can also do this in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, which will take about half as long). Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic, and let rise in a warm place for 1 to 1½ hours; it should puff up and almost double in size.

2.

While the dough rises, make the baba ganoush: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise, then score its flesh in a crosshatch pattern. Set the eggplant in a No.8 (10 ¼) or No.10 (11 ⅝) Skillet, and drizzle the cut sides generously with olive oil. Season with salt, then turn the eggplant halves over and rub the skin with olive oil. Set the skillet in the oven and roast until the eggplant has collapsed and the flesh is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to a cutting board, cut side up, and let cool.

3.

In a mixing bowl, combine the tahini, yogurt, and lemon juice. Finely grate the garlic into the bowl. Stir with a fork until smooth.

4.

Scrape the cooled eggplant flesh onto the cutting board and discard the skins. Chop the eggplant until no large chunks remain, then transfer the chopped eggplant to the bowl with the tahini mixture, leaving any juices behind on the cutting board. Stir the eggplant mixture until smooth and creamy, then stir in the parsley. Season to taste with salt and more lemon juice, if desired. Transfer the baba ganoush to a serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

5.

Make the pitas: Turn the risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 4 pieces. Roll each piece out into a 6-inch circle. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

6.

Preheat a No.8 or No.10 Field Skillet over medium heat for a few minutes. Add a small drizzle of oil to the skillet and wipe away the excess. Add one pita and cook until it begins to puff, about 30 seconds. Flip the pita over and cook until the bottom begins to brown, 1 to 2 minutes, then flip again and cook the other side until browned in spots, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer the pita to a platter, cover with a towel, and repeat with the remaining dough, lightly greasing the skillet each time.

7.

To serve, drizzle the baba ganoush with olive oil and serve with the pitas.