Picnic Time – Baba Ganoush

Picnic Time – Baba Ganoush

It’s picnic weather and school holidays! On the Coffs Coast we have so many wonderful places to enjoy nature and a gourmet picnic. Before we get started, this story has been kindly sponsored by Ford Australia and the 2015 Ford Cars. In view of this sponsorship I thought it would be fitting to pack a picnic basket and give readers directions to a favourite picnic spot of mine.

Ford Australia Picnic Basket

Ford Australia Picnic Basket

Dingo Creek is just west of Coffs Harbour and features beautiful fresh water swimming holes and tiny waterfalls that double as a natural waterslides. The area is best accessed by an all wheel drive vehicle such as the Ford Territory. In good weather, and with careful driving it can be accessed in a two wheel drive vehicle.

It has been so humid lately, and there hasn’t been a breath of wind. The only option was to head away from the coast and into the rainforest for some fresh water swimming. The water comes from the Dorrigo mountain so it’s cool, clean and crystal clear.

Picnic Strawberry Fizz

Picnic Strawberry Fizz

After a quick dip it was time to empty the picnic basket. I packed some cute little bottles with fruit so the kids could have a soda water spritzer. Anais chose the one containing the strawberry and mint. We topped her bottle with soda water and added a chevron straw and she was one happy camper.

Picnic Time

Picnic Time

Baba Ganoush is one of my favourite dips.  I remember trying to make it in my 20’s and failing.  It was only when a lebanese friend explained the eggplant skin needs to be charred by a flame that I finally achieved the smokey flavour I was after.

Baba ganoush Picnic

Baba ganoush Picnic

Once I had that knowledge it was just a matter of sitting the eggplant over the gas flame on the  cooktop and periodically rotating the vegetable. Voila, an authentic tasting Baba Gannoush, silky texture and the traditional smokey flavour.

Picnic Time – Baba Ganoush
Recipe Type: Dip
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Author: Julie
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3 cups
So easy and healthy! A tasty dip for any occasion
  • 2 eggplants
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  1. Char the skin over the flame of a gas cook top until the eggplant is soft and cooked through. The skin will be black.
  2. Peel the skin from the eggplant and place in a food processor.
  3. Add the other ingredients to the processor and blend until smooth.
  4. Refrigerate until needed.

Since this was to be a healthy picnic I didn’t want to dip with crackers. I thinly sliced a baguette and placed the slices in a oven at 130 degrees for 1/2 hour to dry and crisp. The result is better than toasting. The bread is crisp all the way through and is perfect with the dip. The traditional accompaniment would be lebanese or turkish bread but I was happy to modify my picnic basket.

Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush is one of those dishes that is simple to make when you know how.  I have even made this recipe whilst camping once, I simply used the campfire to char the eggplant.

Picnic Basket Pin Me

Picnic Basket Pin Me

Now the special part of this story.  The secret location of Dingo Creek. Whilst its not exactly a secret it’s not a very well known spot, and you won’t stumble upon it by yourself.  I’m sharing a local swimming hole and the perfect picnic spot on a hot day.

Creek Scene - Coffs Harbour Area

Creek Scene – Coffs Harbour Area

Directions to Magic Pools (Dingo Creek)

Starting in the city centre take West High Street out off Coffs  Harbour to the West.

West High Street will turn into Coramba Rd at a slight left hand fork.

Continue on Coramba Rd for approx 5kms.

Turn left onto Mount Brown Rd travel another 5 kms.

Turn left onto South Island Loop continue a further 5 kms.

Turn left onto Dingo Creek Rd.

Follow the road and you will start to notice the occassional vehicle stopped by the creek. Find yourself a secluded spot and enjoy a picnic and a swim.

Anais Jumping off Rocks

Anais Jumping off Rocks

The temperature drops at least five degrees in the sub tropical environment.

Eggplant Dip

Eggplant Dip

I hope you take the opportunity to check out this little piece of Coffs Harbour paradise.

Thank you to Ford Australia for sponsoring this little Gourmet Getaway.

Gourmet Getaways

About Julie


  1. Picnic time? Here is 0° ! Anyway I keep this recipe for betters days 😉
    Very nice presentation Julie !

  2. Just gorgeous and perfect for a picnic!

  3. What a lovely and delicious escape. 🙂 It sounds absolutely wonderful. 🙂

  4. What a beautiful spot for a picnic and with the weather being so hot and humid, this is the perfect place to be. I do love picnics and making your own baba ganoush is a lovely idea xx

  5. What a perfect spot for a picnic lunch and a swim. Dingo Creek looks lush and divine. Your baba ganoush looks perfect, not grey but ivory and smooth (oops did I give something away there..) served with the crisp bread. Lovely fresh strawberry and mint drink, how healthy. Beautiful photographs 😀

  6. Yum, that looks amazing!
    Melanie @ meandmr.com

  7. Perfect picnic food with the perfect location. I love that area 🙂

  8. My recent favourite…baba ganoush! Love, love, love picnics, especially when driving in the new Ford Everest 😉

  9. Perfect fructose friendly gluten free picnic food. I love babaganoush and could eat it by the spoonful, Love the idea of the fruit spritzers too

  10. Oh how I love baba ganoush – it impresses me how so few ingredients can create something so incredibly tasty. Enjoy your coastal getaway!

  11. What a pretty spot to enjoy some baba ghanoush with the rest of your picnic. I want to jump off the rocks too. 🙂

  12. It looks such a great spot – I wonder if we’ll have time to swing by when we’re in Coffs! And I love a bit of Baba Ganoush!

  13. What a beautiful picnic spot – and I love your soda water spritzers, and the serving method! Really beautiful. The dip sounds great too and I will make a note of the need for charring!

  14. What a gorgeous spot to spend a day with a picnic Julie! The kids look like they’re having a great time! 😀

  15. Julie that is wonderful place to take picinic. Baba ganoush looks delicious, your post made to think about my vacation in coming summer.

  16. Julie that is wonderful place to take picinic. Baba ganoush looks delicious, your post made to think about my vacation in coming summer.

  17. This certainly looks like a lovely spot for a picnic Julie. Your dip sounds yummy too, I’ll be making some as soon as my eggplants ripen in the garden 🙂

  18. Only my favourite recipe with bread, definitely want to try it on a picnic day 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  19. Spectacular photos – as always – Julie. Definitely want to visit those natural waterfalls when in Dingo Creek =) Thank you for the intro to the magical spot and the definition of Baba Ganoush.

  20. What a great spot with the naturally beautiful surroundings and clear water. lovely!

    The baba ganoush, I’d heard of but never really knew or thought about preparing it. I find it very interesting, since I make a raita with charred egg plant. This surely is one to try!

  21. How wonderful, I so wish I lived closer. Looks magical. 🙂
    And the Baba Ganoush, I have made it a bunch of times before, but it just doesn’t taste all that great. Will give yours a whirl for sure. 🙂 Hope you are having a great Aussie day weekend.

  22. I was just talking about eggplant with my Mum last night (of the Moussaka variety…). I decided it had been many years since I had cooked with this gorgeous vege – so now her great recipe and one from you and I can rectify this immediately. Thank you…x

  23. Love the surroundings and would love a picnic weather…freezing temp over here 🙁 Absolutely love Babaghanoush and will be trying this recipe 🙂

  24. I love your little soda water spritzers too – what a cute idea. Nice way to make it a little more interesting!

  25. Love a picnic and love a good baba

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