Pressure Cooker Eggplant and Olive Spread
This is my version of Baba Ganoush an Arab dish traditionally made with eggplant that can be used as a sauce, spread or dip. Although the traditional version requires eggplants that have been grilled or scorched we can get really close to this flavor with the pressure cooker! What you lose in “scorch” you gain in the amazing eggplant flavor that the pressure cooker naturally preserves and enhances.
I open all of my pressure cooker demos and classes making this dip because this recipe showcases how quickly and easily the stubborn eggplant can be prepared. With this recipe, I show that you can brown in a pressure cooker, air-free cooking and how food’s own liquid can be used for the cooker to reach pressure.
Before even starting I pass the eggplant(s) around have everyone feel their heft – they’re over 90% water. That’s liquid that can be used to help the pressure cooker reach pressure. Also, take a look at the step-by-step photos of this recipe. You’ll see the dip is “lighter” than it is in the final photo. That’s because, vegetables don’t oxidize during pressure cooking. Instead, this dip starts changing into a dark velvety “eggplant dip”color as you scoop it out of the pressure cooker into the dish, when it is exposed to air again. The live color change always gets lots of “oohs, and ahhs” from demo attendees.
Most importantly, the real reason I make this dip – as I hope you will discover- is because it’s simple to make and absolutely delicious. This dip disappears from the demo counter really quickly!
Although we usually recommend saving and using all kinds of veggie juices – eggplant is the exception. The juice is bitter, brown and unpleasant. You’ll want to toss it.
|Pressure Cooker||Accessories||Pr. Cook Time||Pr. Level||Open|
|3 L or larger||none||3 min.||High(2)||Normal|
- Serves: 4-6
- Serving size: ⅙th
- Calories: 155.5
- TOTAL Fat: 11.7g
- TOTAL Carbs: 16.8g
- Sugar Carbs: 5.6g
- Sodium: 820.9mb
- Fiber Carbs: 4.5g
- Protein: 2g
- Cholesterol: 0.0mg
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds (1k) eggplant
- 3-4 garlic cloves, skin on (reserve one to use fresh at the end)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (125ml) water or use 1 cup (250ml) for electrics
- 1 lemon, juiced (about ¼ cup of juice)
- 1 tablespoons tahini
- ¼ cup black olives, pitted (reserve a few un-pitted for garnish)
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme (about a tablespoon of leaves)
- Fresh Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Peel the eggplant in alternating stripes of skin and no skin (to keep some of the flavor and color of the skin, but not too much!!) Slice the biggest chunks possible to cover the bottom of your pressure cooker. The rest can be roughly chopped.
- In the pre-heated pressure cooker, on medium heat without the lid, add the olive oil. When the oil has heated, carefully place the large chunks of eggplant "face down" to fry and caramelize on one side, about 5 minutes - throw in the garlic cloves with the skin on.
- Then, flip over the eggplant add the remaining uncooked eggplant, salt and water.
- Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
- For electric pressure cookers: Cook for 3 minutes at high pressure.
For stove top pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 3 minutes pressure cooking time.
- When time is up, open the cooker by releasing the pressure through the valve.
- Take the pressure cooker base to the sink, and tip it to remove and discard most of the brown liquid.
- Fish out the garlic cloves and remove their skin. Add the Tahini , lemon juice, cooked and uncooked garlic cloves and black olives and puree everything together using an immersion blender (tilt the pan to get everything in the nook so it immerses the head immersion blender).
- Pour out to the serving dish and sprinkle with fresh Thyme, remaining black olives and a dash of fresh olive oil before serving.
Since it’s original publication, in 2011, this recipe has been refreshed to work with electric pressure cookers. The accompanying article has been completely re-written, too. If you preferred the original recipe for stovetop pressure cookers only using the “scorch method” you can view it here.