This fire-roasted grilled eggplant dip is made with crushed garlic, lemon juice, fresh mint, chopped green onions, tomatoes, pomegranate molasses (optional) and is drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. This refreshing vegan fiber-filled dip is perfect with some french bread, pita chips, or fresh pita bread.
And if you love eggplant dips, check out this oven-roasted baba ganoush without tahini.
What I Love About This Recipe
The fire-roasted eggplant makes an unbelievably delicious smoky flavor (like how traditional baba ganoush is made). When mixed with freshly squeezed lemon juice, mashed garlic, fresh mint, tomatoes, olive oil, and pomegranate molasses, the flavor combination is out of this world.
- Large purple eggplant: When roasting the eggplant on the flame, the outer skin chars and the eggplant becomes delicate. I recommend using large puple eggplant for this recipe.
- Fresh mint: Use fresh mint leaves if possible. Dried mint can be substituted, however, the fresh mint is the best option.
- Garlic: Mash the garlic with a mortar and pestle into a paste so that the garlic can evenly distribute within the eggplant. Pressed garlic using a garlic press is a second option that works as long as the garlic press crushing the garlic similar to a paste.
- Fresh lemon juice: Squeeze the lemon with a lemon juicer or handheld lemon squeezer.
- Green onions: Use green onions or chives.
- Tomatoes: Any type of tomato works: grape tomatoes, tomato on the vine, Roma tomatoes, or beef steak tomatoes. Cut the tomato into thin slivers.
- Pomegranate molasses (optional): If you've never tried cooking with pomegranate molasses (or dibz roman in Arabic), it's a thick syrup made from pomegranate that is sweet and tangy. It's used in a lot of Lebanese recipes like fattoush, sheikh el mahshi, baked stuffed kibbeh, beef sambousek, and lahm bi ajeen.
See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for quantities.
How To Make Grilled Eggplant Dip
Grill the eggplant on an open flame. Don't be afraid to char the eggplant skin because it will be removed.
Pro Tip: The charred outer skin is what makes the smoky flavor for the eggplant dip.
Turn the eggplant on the flame using tongs. Remove the eggplants when they soften and collapse (about 5 to 8 minutes).
Allow the eggplants to cool off for about 15 minutes while preparing the other ingredients. Mash the garlic with salt using a mortar and pestle. Squeeze the lemons. Wash and remove the leaves from the fresh mint. Wash and chop the green onion and tomatoes.
Remove the charred skin from the eggplant, occasionally rinsing the eggplant exterior from the charred bits.
In a large bowl, add the mashed garlic, lemon juice, and salt. Mash or mix the eggplant well. Pour the roasted eggplant into a serving dish. Top with the fresh mint, chopped green onions, and sliced tomatoes. Drizzle olive oil and pomegranate molasses on top prior to serving.
Tips and Tricks
- Fire roast the eggplant. Smoky eggplant is key for this eggplant dip, so roast the eggplant over an open flame. Don't worry if the skin is heavily charred because it will be removed.
- Remove the charred skin delicately. Allow the eggplant to cool, then remove the charred outer skin carefully. Rinse the roasted eggplant under the sink faucet to remove any charred bits.
- Mash the garlic into a paste. Chopped or minced garlic is not an appropriate substitute because the garlic will be chunky. The best way to make the garlic into a paste is using a mortar and pestle. Another option is using a garlic press, but make sure the garlic is fully crushed.
- Roast a large amount of eggplants (like I did in the photos) for the freezer. Peel the eggplant and freeze in a freezer-friendly bag. This grilled eggplant is suitable for use in baba ganoush or this recipe.
Variations and Substitutions
- Omit the pomegranate molasses. It might be hard to find at your local grocery store. I buy my molasses from the Middle Eastern supermarket or Amazon.
- Substitute dried mint for fresh mint. Fresh mint is better, however, dried mint works too.
- Mash a spicy pepper with the garlic for some heat. Chop a spicy pepper, then add it to the bowl that you mashed the garlic into a paste (with the mashed garlic still in there).
- Char the eggplant on a gas burner in the kitchen if no grill available. Use tongs to hold the eggplant over the burner. Once the eggplant outer skin is charred, add the eggplant to a baking dish and cook in the oven at 400 ℉ (205 ℃) until soft for about 20 minutes.
- Use a grill to open-flame roast the eggplant.
- Turn the eggplant with tongs.
- Mash the garlic with a mortar and pestle.
- Chop the green onions and tomato with a chef's knife and cutting board.
- Squeeze the lemon juice with a lemon squeezer.
The grilled and peeled eggplant can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. Don't mix anything with the roasted eggplant until ready to prepare the eggplant dip with mint. When ready to prepare, remove and thaw from the freezer. Proceed with the recipe steps.
Store the grilled eggplant in the fridge for up to 5 days.
No, do not roast eggplant directly on a glass stovetop.
Yes, you can roast an eggplant directly on a gas burner by holding the eggplant over the flame with tongs.
The best way to roast eggplant is on an open flame from a grill. It takes less time than using a gas burner.
Mediterranean Eggplant Recipes
Recipes With Pomegranate Molasses
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Grilled Eggplant Dip With Mint
- 2 large purple eggplant about 1.5 lbs
- 3 garlic cloves mashed
- 1 juicy lemon squeezed
- 20 to 25 fresh mint leaves
- 1 green onion chopped
- ½ Roma tomato sliced
- salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil drizzled on top
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses drizzled on top
- Roast the eggplants on an open flame using a grill. Turn the eggplant on the flame using tongs. Remove the eggplants when they soften and collapse (about 5 to 8 minutes). Allow the eggplants to cool while preparing the other ingredients.
- Mash the garlic with a pinch of salt using a mortar and pestle. The garlic should be pulverized into a paste. Squeeze the lemon. Chop the green onion and tomato. Remove the leaves from the fresh mint sprigs.
- Using your fingers, remove the charred bits of the eggplant skin from the eggplant. Use water if needed to rinse the bits and pieces sticking. Set the roasted eggplant aside.
- In a bowl, add the roasted peeled eggplants, mashed garlic, lemon juice, and salt to taste. Mash the roasted eggplant with a pestle in the bowl to combine everything evenly.
- Pour the eggplant into a serving platter. Top with fresh mint, green onions, sliced tomatoes, olive oil, and pomegranate molasses.
- Alternatively roast the eggplant on a gas burner inside using tongs. Roast one at a time until the skin chars, then continue cooking in the oven at 400 ℉ (205 ℃) until soft for about 20 minutes.
- Store the peeled and roasted eggplants in the freezer as-is. When ready to prepare, thaw at room temperature and continue with the recipe steps.