BBQ recipe: Marcus Bawdon’s Ember-Cooked Baba Ganoush


Marcus Bawdon, a top outdoor cooking expert in England, offers numerous recipes that elevate vegetables via the grill or smoker in “BBQ for All: Year-Round Outdoor Cooking for Meat-Eaters, Vegetarians and Pescatarians.”

“Aubergines/eggplants are just made for cooking direct in the embers; their taste and texture totally transform,” he writes. “The soft flesh makes the most wonderful dip for a few crackers or crisp flatbreads. Like all the best things, it is simple and delicious.”

Ember-Cooked Baba Ganoush

Serves 2


1 large eggplant

2 tablespoons tahini

1 clove garlic, crushed

Freshly squeezed juice of ½ lemon

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon Aleppo chile flakes or hot red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Set up your barbecue for direct cooking in the coals at a moderate heat (around 320 degrees Fahrenheit). Use best-quality lumpwood charcoal or hardwood/fruitwood embers. You can also use a fire pit.

Pierce the eggplant skin with a knife tip in a couple of places, then place it onto the coals. Cook for a few minutes to char the skin, turning every so often until the skin is charred and the inside flesh soft, around 10 to 12 minutes.

Place on a plate and allow to cool for 5 minutes, then cut a slice along one side of the eggplant and use a spoon to loosen the soft, stringy flesh without damaging the skin. Gently combine the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and cumin with the flesh to form a rich paste.

Season with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, then sprinkle with the chile pepper flakes and flat-leaf parsley.

— Marcus Bawdon, “BBQ for All: Year-Round Outdoor Cooking for Meat-Eaters, Vegetarians and Pescatarians” (Dog n Bone, $30)

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