creamed aubergines

this is either a perfect accompaniment to some slow roast lamb - which is what we had it with (recipe to follow), or the lamb chops i blogged about yesterday. it would also be nice as a dip in its own right, i think. it has that mellow, sweet taste that aubergines get with long cooking. adding the oil at the end makes the whole thing emulsify like a mayonnaise, so the texture is silky and smooth. it was so nice i fancy making some more soon.

the recipe is from simon hopkinson's roast chicken and other stories, which i seem to be using more and more.

for four

2 large aubergines, peeled and diced
200 ml olive oil
juice of one large lemon
salt and pepper
1 heaped tsp of ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tbs tahini

make a roasting bag out of some tin foil. tear 2 large pieces of foil, place one on top of another, then fold over so you get the beginning of a bag. seal the 2 side edges by folding the foil over several times to the depth of 1cm or so. you're left with a 'bag' with the top still open. chuck the aubergines in, with half of the oil, the lemon juice, the salt and the pepper. bake for an hour or two in a 150C oven until they are completely collapsed. mine took almost two hours but they were old and full of seeds (and a bit bitter, truth be told).

when you think they're done, tip the contents of your 'bag' into a food processor, juice and all, and add the cumin, garlic and the sesame paste. blend until smooth. keep the blender on and add the remaining oil in a thin stream, as if for a mayonnaise. check the seasoning.

you can eat this hot or cold. we ate it warm the first night, but i think i preferred it room-temperature cold with hot leftover meat the next day.


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