This is a classic Eastern Mediterranean aubergine dip, with the key flavours being smoky aubergine, fresh lemon & fragrant garlic. Whilst fairly messy, it’s well worth cooking the aubergines over a gas burner (or if weather permits, the barbeque) so that you can develop the smoky flavour that really makes this dish. If that’s not for you – you can also place the aubergines under a medium grill for about an hour, turning occasionally. Just remember to pierce the skin if you do this, as exploding aubergines are a bit of a pain to clean up!
3 medium aubergines (around 800-900g)
2 tbsp tahini
Juice of 1 ½ lemons (about 3 tbsp)
2 tbsp finely chopped mint
2 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 medium cloves of garlic, crushed
½ tsp of salt
Olive oil, for drizzling
Pomegranate seeds to sprinkle on top (optional)
The first step for me is to prepare the gas stove – I put some kitchen foil down to limit the mess. To do this, I remove the metal grate from over the gas burner, & taking a square of foil, put it over the gas burner & press down, so the outline of the burner is clear. I then take a pair of scissors & cut out a burner sized hole. I then put the foil back over the burner, & replace the grate – I do this over 3 burners, one per aubergine.
With the gas burners on medium high, place the aubergines directly over the flame, & start to char them, turning regularly with a pair of metal tongs. They should take 15-20 minutes to do, with the skin cracked & blackened, & the aubergines have collapsed in on themselves (see below).
Once cooked, leave till they’re cool enough to handle. Once cool, peel off the skin – I find doing this lengthways easiest, just twisting off the stalk & peeling off the skin in strips. chop up the aubergine a bit, & leave in a sieve to drain for at least half an hour.
While they’re draining, mix the tahini & lemon juice together. Add the mint, parsley, garlic & salt – it should form a loose paste.
When the aubergine has drained, transfer to a serving bowl. Mash the aubergine up with a fork, then stir in the lemon & tahini mix well. Check taste & add more lemon juice / salt if required.
Just before serving, drizzle some olive oil over & around the baba ganoush – you’ll end up with a small moat of oil around the outside of the bowl. You can also sprinkle over some pomegranate seeds, for a bit of crunch & flavour.