Burnt aubergine/eggplant with tahini (Baba Ganoush)

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This is gluten free, dairy free, nut free, soy free recipe.

It can be used as a dip or condiment that you can serve with a main meat or fish dish. If you add cucumber and tomato it can also be turned into a gloriously refreshing summer salad that exudes Middle Eastern aromas.

It is taken from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, my bible for cooking up vegetables and turning them into the star of the dish rather than the side.

I like to serve this at BBQ’s as it is a nice cooling element along side meat (ying yang).

Once you have learnt to ‘burn’ an aubergine, you will realise how much versatility this vegetable has. I took the opportunity to make aubergine fritters (later blog) and will blog a pasta sauce using it later in the year.

Ingredients

  • 1 large aubergine
  • 70g tahini paste
  • 60 ml water
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 3 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A little olive oil to finish

(Options: the recipe calls for pomegranate molasses -2 tbsp. but I added just a little honey instead. There is also the optional cucumber and tomatoes to make a salad.)

Method

  • First burn the aubergine (see below)
  • When cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into a colander, avoiding the blackened skin. Leave to drain for at least 30 minutes
  • Once drained, chop the aubergine flesh roughly and transfer to a medium mixing-bowl. Add the tahini, water, honey, lemon juice, garlic, parsley and some salt and pepper, mix well with a whisk or pulse gently in a blender.
  • Taste and adjust for seasoning.

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How to burn an aubergine

  • I used a BBQ, turning the aubergine every 2/3 minutes for around 10-15 minutes until all sides where brown/burnt and the inside of the aubergine was soft
  • The recipe recommends using a gas hob. Start by lining the hob heads with foil to protect them. Put the aubergine on a flame and roast for 12-15 minutes, turning frequently with metal tongs.
  • Alternative if you don’t want to use a naked flame, put them on a foil lined tray and place directly under a hot grill, turning a few times-this method tends to take a little longer.
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