Cultured Baba Ganoush: post-fermentation method
This is my second post on the popular aubergine hummus otherwise known as baba ganoush. Most Americans will know it as an eggplant, but I first had it in France and found the rest of the world also calls it by its french name: aubergine. Frankly it sounds much more appetizing than eggplant so I’ll stick with it. I love how it roasts and grills to smoky excellence and comes alive with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. I have been making smokey baba ganoush for years and it is one of my favorites with crudités or a mezze platter. I have been known to eat it straight with a spoon as well. The last time I posted this was with the pre-fermentation or “classical” method. You can read that post here. Personally I find this method easier as it is exactly like making any other fermented hummus.
Consuming fermented foods aids your microbiome (the life in your gut) and helps your neurotransmitters send positive signals to your brain. This can help manage things like anxiety and inflammation and also helps your body process other vitamins more effectively.
Now, I have had a bit of a nightshade issue but the fermentation does deal with that issue to some extent. But that being said, I have had this post in my drafts for some time and am getting it out there while at the same time possibly saying goodbye to my beloved baba for who knows how long. We shall see! This is a much easer method than the pre-fermentation method and also allows you to remove the skins and seeds if needs be in order to lessen the source of nightshade related inflammation. So please enjoy. This is made with love. 🙂
- 3-6 aubergines, roasted and peeled (4 cups total when roasted)
- 1/2 cup tahini or 4-6 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds or toasted sunflower seeds
- 4 garlic cloves (better if roasted)
- 1/2 an onion, roasted OR 1/2 cup unstrained fermented onion
- ½ cup whey (from a batch of live yogurt or milk kefir), or cultured vegetable juice from a previous ferment. (only if you are using unfermented onion)
- 1 tablespoon sea salt, celtic sea salt or pink salt
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon black pepper (optional)*
- juice of 1 lemon (optional)*
- 1 teaspoon cumin (optional)*
- 1 cup fresh cilantro or mint (optional)*
- ¼ – ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (poured over top to seal out bacteria)
*If you want more authentic baba ganoush, put these optional ingredients in. If you want the more Romanian version, leave them out. For this recipe I put in the cilantro but left out the lemon. It made for a lovely smooth and smoky hummus.
- When picking your aubergines consider that the insides will shrink when roasting. The longer you roast, the less final product you will have. so when eyeballing them imagine the total product for each one to be about 1/2 – 2/3 the size.
- Roast your aubergines in a preheated oven at 350ºF/175°C until just blackened, turning over in between. This should take about an hour but keep an eye on them as it can vary according to size.
- When ready you should be able to poke the tops and feel a small pocket of air. Remove and let cool.
- While the aubergine is cooling, sanitize your jars and lids at 175 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven for 5 minutes.
- When they are cool enough to pick up, pull the tops off and scrape the insides into a colander to let any juices drain out. Often they are dry enough that I can skip this step. Set aside the juices.
- Place the strained aubergine in your food processor with roasted & diced or fermented onion (if using diced you will need to add a 1/2 cup culturing juice) or whey) and all other ingredients except for the olive oil. If you need more liquid, add in some of the strained juices. Process until smooth.
- Scoop the contents carefully into your jar. I used a 1.5 liter swing top kilner jar for this.
- Pour the olive oil over the top, close the lid and carefully turn the jar until the gap of air is coated in olive oil up to the rim of the lid. This will keep any bad bacteria out and allow the air bubbles to escape as the hungry wild yeasts do their magic. You always want a jar that has at least 1/3-1/2 empty after your ferment is inside when it comes to hummus, mash, sauces etc as they can get a little over excited… believe me. I have come downstairs to the hummus blob and olive oil all over my kitchen counter. No fun.
- Leave to ferment for 1-3 days depending on taste. Once finished, stir the olive oil in and store in a 1 liter glass container in the fridge.
If serving immediately, leave out the culturing liquid. Spoon into a bowl and stir in 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, then drizzle a bit more on the top. I sometimes just save some out, culturing liquid and all and serve with olive oil.