Baba Ganoush

Great recipe which makes a really nice smoky Baba Ganoush. It’s a fabulous roasted aubergine dip that is best eaten with freshly made pitta bread. As with all these things you can flex the quantities to make it more lemony, or garlicky, or whatever you prefer.
The quantities make about a decent pasta bowl sized serving.
For me, a blowtorch is essential for this recipe. But you might find a very hot grill or BBQ could do the trick. A gas hob might work but it could get messy. A real scorching of the aubergine skin is needed to get a good strong smoky flavour. When I use the blowtorch approach the skin glows red and smokes, it then goes black and carbonised as it cools.
The other essential is draining the aubergine liquids. Otherwise, the dish will be too wet and sloppy.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium to large aubergines
  • 1 garlic clove, more or less as you prefer
  • ½ Lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp good Tahini (I always use Al Arz)
  • Chopped mint or parsley for mixing through
  • Good olive oil for serving
  • Toppings as preferred – parsley, oregano, pomegranate, dukkah

Method

  1. Roast the aubergines in a hot oven at 200C for about 1 hour, more if you think they need it.
  2. I then take them out to the cooker top and set about them with the blowtorch. They are so hot the skin instantly chars and glows red, releasing smoke. (Put the vent on and shut the kitchen door or the fire detectors will go nuts.) Scorch all round.
  3. Now slice each in half lengthwise and scrape out the flesh, trying to avoid getting too much carbonised skin. Put the flesh in a colander over a bowl to cool thoroughly, this drains all the liquid.
  4. Meanwhile, add the tahini and the lemon juice to a bowl with the crushed garlic. Mix them and the tahini/lemon combo will thicken up.
  5. Once the aubergines have drained, put the flesh into the tahini/lemon mix.
  6. Mix it up with a spoon or fork. You may want to use a knife to cut any fibres remaining from the aubergine. Sometimes I cut through it with scissors. It doesn’t need to be too fine and I don’t like the blended stuff, some texture is good.
  7. Stir in any herbs you are using.

Serve the Baba Ganoush at room temperature with some good olive oil and whatever dressings or herbs you fancy. Make your own homemade pitta bread to get the best from this delicious smoky wonderfulness.

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