We had a plethora of aubergines (eggplants) this year, and even now in November, here in the Ionian, they are still growing – amazing!
One delicious way of cooking with aubergines, if you’ve had enough of grilling or making moussaka, is to roast and blend them into a middle eastern dip called baba ganoush (ghanouj). Different spellings abound, as do the apparent origins of the name. In Arabic, baba means father, and ganuj means pampered a.o. The Oxford English Dictionary suggests possibly a pampered sultan made up the recipe, but I’m not convinced. (What’s a sultan doing in the kitchen?)
Whoever first concocted this dip, I send heartfelt thanks as we’ve always loved it, even way back when in Sydney, eating at Ishmail’s in George street. Gone now, but the delicious recipe remains and can be found in loads of restaurants all over the world, hooray! An easy one to add to your repertoire.
A dip to serve 4.
2 medium aubergines
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp tahini
fresh lemon juice to taste
some sea salt
1 tsp cumin
cayenne to taste – start with a light sprinkling then adjust at the end
olive oil for roasting
1-2 tbsp virgin olive oil
Halve the aubergines/eggplants and score with a knife without damaging the bottom skin. Place on a roasting pan, skin side down, and drizzle generously with oil. Roast at 160 degree (c 320 fahrenheit) for about 40 minutes until they look well done and dark.
Scoop out the flesh, discard the skins. Mash with a fork adding all the above ingredients apart from the lemon juice which you add last. You can also use a blender for a completely smooth finish if you prefer.
Taste test and add more of whichever ingredient you’d like to stand out.
Spoon into a dish and serve with toasted plantain flatbread (goes well with it if you want to be GF. You can find the recipe on my website) – or any toasted flatbread.