Eggplant Dip with Toasted Walnuts, Lemon, Tahini & Yogurt

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 4 votes

Luscious eggplant dip is rich and flavourful with toasted walnuts, tahini, lemon, and coconut milk yogurt. Naturally vegan and delicious! The inspiration point for this dip and the eggplant preparation is baba ganoush.

Image shows a board with a bowl of smooth eggplant dip, chopped vegetables, pita chips and olives.
An up close shot of a smooth eggplant dip with chopped walnuts and olive oil on top.
Image shows a kitchen scene with vegetables, herbs, and pita on the counter.
An up close, overhead shot of homemade pita chips.
An overhead shot of eggplant dip ingredients: non-dairy yogurt, parsley, lemon, walnuts,  cumin, tahini and garlic.


Maybe you’re like me and you have a dedicated eggplant and tomato zone carved out in your kitchen right now. It’s summer’s last stand, so I don’t mind eating these things every day, but variation is important. Our eggplant crops are bountiful this year, and because of that you all get
yet another recipe for this wonderful nightshade. I know that eggplant isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but! Pretty much everyone loves a dip!

The recipe inspiration here started during my Winter trip to Portland (heading there again in October and I can’t wait). My friend and I had this amazing, slightly tangy and nutty eggplant dip with steaming hot, fresh-from-the-oven pita. We tried to get boomerang videos of the steam escaping the freshly ripped pita a couple times. This didn’t work out for us (lol), but our enjoyment of the dip was still successful. It had a tanginess, detectable toasty cumin and walnuts, and some other key players like garlic and lemon.

It seemed like the natural starting point of the dish was a traditional baba ganoush (of which there are many variations), with all of those typical flavour notes intact, plus some interesting extras. I loved this deep dive on baba ganoush from Cooks Without Borders. It’s possible that a precursor to the famous dip utilized ground walnuts instead of tahini. Relevant to today’s post!

Just from a rough flavour memory, this luscious eggplant dip was really easy to fix up in my own kitchen. We served the first trial run to friends with a casual Labour Day weekend spread of grilled pizza, kale salad, and a suspiciously hot batch of blistered shishito peppers. Proving my point that everyone loves a dip, we snacked on this one well into the night. It has a lush texture that feels almost whipped in a way. Fatty, creamy, toasty, tangy, and bright all at the same time.

So yeah! Make a nice platter with a swoop of olive oil on top of the plated dip, tuck a smear of it into a sandwich, use it as the base of a grain bowl, or just dip vegetables and crackers into it throughout the week. One of my favourite tips for people that are new to the plant-based way of life is to always have some sort of delicious dip or spread around. You can combine that with a whole bunch of things to make a meal in a pinch. Even if you’re kinda “meh” on vegetables, dip can form a crucial supporting role to your upped consumption. My Roasted Carrot & Harissa Chickpea Dip and Velvety Roasted Garlic and Butternut Sesame Dip are also excellent choices

That’s it for this week! I’m heading to Montreal with Mark and our friends this weekend. It’s supposed to be unseasonably hot there and at home, so I’m looking forward to EVEN MORE eggplant on my counter when we get back :)

Image shows roasted eggplant halves being scooped out by a spoon.
Up close shot of eggplant dip ingredients in a food processor bowl.
Image shows a board with a bowl of smooth eggplant dip, chopped vegetables, pita chips and olives.
A 3/4 angle shot of a creamy eggplant dip in a white bowl, topped with chopped walnuts, parsley, and olive oil.
Image shows a board with a bowl of smooth eggplant dip, chopped vegetables, pita chips and olives.

Luscious Eggplant Dip with Walnuts, Lemon, Tahini & Yogurt

This eggplant dip is rich and flavourful with toasted walnuts, tahini, lemon, and coconut milk yogurt. Naturally vegan and delicious! The inspiration point for this dip and the eggplant preparation is baba ganoush.
5 from 4 votes
LUSCIOUS EGGPLANT DIP W/ TOASTED WALNUTS, TAHINI, LEMON & YOGURT - The First Mess
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings 1.5 Cups

Ingredients

Dip Ingredients

  • 1 medium-large eggplant
  • ¼ cup walnut halves, toasted
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • cup thick non-dairy yogurt of choice (I used Anita’s coconut yogurt)
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground Aleppo pepper
  • sea salt & ground black pepper, to taste

To Garnish

  • finely grated lemon zest
  • extra Aleppo pepper
  • extra chopped walnuts
  • chopped parsley
  • olive oil

Notes

  • I use Anita’s coconut milk-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened). It’s my plant-based yogurt of choice, but feel free to use whichever brand you like.
  • For my omnivores that may be making this with dairy-based yogurt: start with only 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and see how you like it. Dairy yogurt tends to be tangier, and you can always add more lemon later.
  • This dip is naturally oil-free if you omit the little swoop of olive oil as a garnish.
  • This dip is best at room temperature. It keeps in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 5 days.
  • To make this nut-free, I would replace the walnuts with the same amount of toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds.

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  • Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and place both halves face down on the baking sheet. Bake eggplant until quite soft and wrinkly on the exterior, about 45 minutes. Remove eggplant and let cool slightly.
  • In a food processor, pulse the walnuts until they are finely ground. To the food processor, add the tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, garlic, chili, salt, and pepper. Scoop the soft flesh out of the cooled eggplant and transfer it to the food processor as well.
  • Run the food processor motor until you have a smooth and luscious dip, scraping the sides down if necessary. Adjust the dip for seasoning if necessary.
  • Serve the dip at room temperature with cut vegetables, pita chips, crackers, olives etc!
12/09/2018 (Last Updated 12/07/2023)
Posted in: appetizer, autumn, creamy, earthy, gluten free, grain-free, holidays, oil free, refined sugar-free, roasted, salty, smoky, snack, sour, summer, tahini, vegan

24 comments

5 from 4 votes (2 ratings without comment)

Recipe Rating




  • Marysa

    This sounds easy to make, and absolutely delicious. I’ll have to see if I can find that kind of pepper that you used. I like that it looks so creamy!

  • Cara

    5 stars
    I have never liked eggplant and tried this recipe for fun and had zero expectation of having it change my mind about aubergines…. But it did! Super easy to put together. I’ve sent this recipe to all of my friends. I’ll definitely be making this again moving forward.

  • juliette

    5 stars
    i made this for a potluck and i am about to send this recipe to everyone !!! it was hit!! so delicious:) 

  • Smad

    Made this today and found it delicious, creamy and nutty and very unique tasting! To pick up on the already extensive discussion in the comments, I’m Israeli and grew up eating baba ganoush, and this certainly tastes nothing like it. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Randi Weinstein

    what is your go to tahini? where do you get it?

  • Joey

    What could I sub for the Aleppo chili? (What is Aleppo chili?)

    • Laura

      It’s like a milder, more floral dried chili flake. Just use regular dried chili flakes instead!
      -L

  • tanit

    Just made this (minus the walnuts) and it’s DELICIOUSSSS! argh. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!!! :-)

  • Alexander

    Laura;.Thank you for the great recipe. I hope to improve my standing with my family as someone who does not always just burn water. I look forward to the seeing their smiles. The primary reason for my note to you Laura, and to the other ladies in the conversation part of your recipe is to express the pleasure I felt in reading the civility and care with which the collective thoughts and considerations were presented. The absence of “ego and self importance” really complimented your great recipe and pictures. Now I will have a tasty and novel dish for my beautiful eggplants and feel good about my blessings in this little experience. thank you for adding character of note to the quality of the recipe.

  • Cassie Autumn Tran

    Makes me think of my classic favorite eggplant dip–babaganoush! It’s wonderful with pita bread and raw vegetables!

  • Ruby

    I am a huge fan of eggplant in almost every form and this dip is no exception! It looks so creamy and full of amazing flavor. I cannot wait to try it out! Have an amazing time in Montreal (it’s one of my favorite cities in the world!)

  • Ahu

    Made this in the weekend with your roasted carrot and harissa chickpea dip! They were both yummy! thanks :)

  • The Modern Proper

    This sounds really good and deep, full of a range of flavor. I need to cook with more eggplant!

  • Aleisha

    This looks so delicious! Is Anita’s coconut yogurt available in Canada? If not, can you recommend another brand that is?

    • Laura

      Hi Aleisha! Unfortunately Anita’s is not available yet. Best thing you can get here would be Yoso’s unsweetened coconut yogurt.
      -L

  • Jean

    Your video attempts may not have been successful but your photos here more than make up for it…just stunning!

  • Dina

    I love and appreciate your blog and recipes so I hope you take this critical comment as one that comes from a good place. This recipe is unmistakably a variation on baba ganoush. Baba ganoush is a Levantine dish with a long history. We often make a Palestinian version at home. I think it is important to recognise the origin of foods and dishes because then you recognise the cultures they come from (rather than possibly implying that this was something invented in Portland). Of course we borrow from other cultures all the time in our cooking and that is completely appropriate and delicious, but to take without acknowledgement feels problematic.

    • Laura

      Hello Dina,

      Thank you for this comment and for your perspective. I do agree that it’s important to acknowledge food’s origins and the role that it plays within culture. I certainly wasn’t trying to suggest that eggplant-based dips were invented in Portland. I can re-word some of this in hopes of acknowledging this possible miscommunication. In turn, I will ask that you consider the following: If I use or suggest that this dip is in the style of baba ganoush, I am setting the stage for comments and emails telling me that my recipe is not authentic/possibly appropriated in some way, which is totally fair! I’m not afraid of critical comments in general, and honestly mentioning baba ganoush in the actual title had crossed my mind with this post. But with the addition of yogurt and walnuts, the fact that my eggplant was not cooked on coals/open flame, the absence of olive oil in the dip itself, and just with my overall recipe ratios in mind, I was hesitant to go there for fear of offending someone by making too broad of a generalization in terms of a particular cuisine. I will fix some of the copy here in a way that feels appropriate to me, but just wanted you to know that my words are always chosen carefully and that I never seek to lay claim to cuisine that has clear and storied cultural origins. Hoping we can meet halfway.

      Thanks again,
      Laura

      • Marsh

        Well said, Laura, and I totally agree with your “solution”, although I never thought you were making inappropriate claims in the first place. Let’s face it, virtually every single thing we make in our kitchens was already done before by someone, somewhere! But interestingly, I’ve seen a number of blogs just recently in which some commenter feels the need to chastise the author for not giving credit to some past culture or whatever (one blogger got blasted for not giving credit for whoever invented tacos– yes, tacos!). You get blasted if you post an original version of something, such as baba ganoush (stealing!), and you also get blasted if you post a variation of an original (bastardization!). The only time I find fault with a blogger is when they use a direct copy of someone else’s recipe and don’t give credit to that person, but I’ve never seen any of the more professional blogs, such as yours, do that.

        On a happier note, this dip looks fabulous! As do your photos, especially the one showing the full tray. Going to try it when I host my next bookclub meeting– I think they’ll love it (as will I!)

        Keep up the good work, Laura. Love your blog :-)

      • Hilary

        What a great and thoughtful response, and respectful communication. Seriously love it and I’m making this dip tonight I’ll let you know how it is!

      • sarah

        Wonderful reply Laura, I agree if you had of stated in the title this was a baba ganoush recipe you have had so many comments on how it wasn’t a real baba ganoush and bunch more blah, blah, blah…

        I just wanted to let you know, Arab cooks are super adaptive in their nature. When in the West they cover the eggplant in foil and put it straight on the cooking element for the charcoal taste and yogurt is a very common element in baba ganoush for many families.

        I’m married to Arab, I work in a building full of Arab women and most of them use yogurt in their baba ganoush.
        And to be honest most Arabs even get the name of this dish incorrect.

        Mutabbal is a pureed eggplant (sometimes squash too) with yogurt, Tahini and Garlic.

        Baba Ghanoush is a salad with eggplant, pomegranate molasses, tomatoes, parsley and walnuts.

        The Syrian foodie goes into detail regarding the difference of this dish and where it came from.

        Laura, I believe you just happened to create muta ghanoush! LOL

    • Liadh

      I was think the exact same thing, reading this recipe. It really adds to a recipe to speak of the rich roots from which it came.

  • Sasha

    Oh this dip looks heavenly! Need to make!