baba ghanoush

i suspect most people have eaten this at some point, either in a turkish restaurant or as part of those horrible supermarket dip selections (food snob, moi? jamais!). it's usually not bad in restaurants - i guess it's difficult to mess up such a simple thing - though it's sometimes a bit too watery for my taste.

i think a good baba ghanoush needs to pack a real punch of garlic and tahini. also, it tastes much better when the aubergines are chargrilled or cooked on a barbecue - it seems to impart a subtle smokey flavour which works really well. (we did an aubergine and yoghurt thing on a barbecue in turkey and it was delicious.) i cooked mine in the oven this time as i was roasting pork at a very high temperature, and they were nice anyway. you can also grill them or cook them over a naked flame on a gas hob but i am way too clumsy and would end up burning down half of islington if i tried it.

by the way, the recipe is from the moro cook book.

for four or six

3 large aubergines
2 cloves of garlic squished to a paste with 1 tsp of salt
juice of one lemon
3 tbs tahini
4 tbs olive oil
sea salt and black pepper

preheat the oven to 230C. prick the aubergine skin a couple of times - this stops them from exploding - and then roast them whole on a baking tray for about 45 minutes or until they are completely soft and collapsed. remove and leave to cool a little.

peel the skin off, scraping any bits of flesh stuck to it. discard the skin and place the flesh and any juices into a large bowl. beat with an electric whisk (as i did) or by hand until the mixture is almost smooth. add all the other ingredients and mix well. taste and see if it needs more of anything - i kept adding lemon juice and salt until it got to the point where i liked it.

serve with meats - traditionally with lamb but it went well with roast pork as well.


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