Rich, Smoky, creamy – Baba Ganoush


Rich, Smoky, creamy – Baba Ganoush

Rich, Smoky, creamy – Baba Ganoush

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!

Ingredients

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).

The aubergines, after their session on the gas burner

The aubergines, after their session on the gas burner

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.