I fell in love with baba ghanouj when I lived in San Francisco; Kan Zaman, just around the corner from my basement flat in the Haight, made the tastiest version. This Middle Eastern dip is the lesser-known cousin of hummus, pairing equally well with pita bread and made just as easily from scratch. Unfortunately, I’ve seen baba ghanouj recipes that are as flavorless and bastardized as the premade hummus popular in American grocery stores. Some even get the dip’s distinctive flavor by mixing in liquid smoke. Ew.

We spent a season working to replicate the Kan Zaman version—or at least my memory of it—and taste-testing it whenever we had people out for a sail or over for dinner. After grilling the eggplant to get a fabulous smoky flavor, we knew we had our recipe. If you grill, puree, and freeze the eggplant, you can make baba all year. The same goes for onions: grill, dice, and freeze for a year-round dip that will make you the hit of any party. Learn to make Baba Ghanouj and Grilled Onion Dip