Cooking / Savoury

Baba Ghanoush, Smoky Eggplant Dip

…otherwise known as what to do when you have Too Many Eggplants (aubergines, if you’re Nigella).

I espied three forlorn looking eggplants on the reduced for quick sale rack at Maxi Foods and snapped them up because I’d been meaning to give baba ghanoush a go for ages. Smoky, silky, seductive eggplant dip… what’s not to love?

I did a bit of research and ascertained that the best way to start off this recipe is by charring the eggplants over the stove, if you have a gas stove. I do, so the next thing I was up to was sticking an eggplant on each burner and turning on the fan and the fire alarms off.

Charring an eggplant

Just before this photo was taken, there was a nice little fiery glow coming from the eggplant underside.

I like a nice smoky flavour so I left mine there for about eight to ten minutes at least, turning them with tongs so they blackened and crisped all over. My eggplants were a bit wet because I’d rinsed them under the tap before I put them on the burner, so yours may get all charred up a bit faster!

The rest of the recipe is easy peasy – add everything else and whizz up.

Makes about 600mL

Makes about 600mL

When I made this dip, I put two fat cloves of garlic in it – you’ll note in the ingredients list below I only suggest one, as I found the garlic to be a bit overpowering after the dip had sat for a while in the fridge.

Eggplant dip

Served with Phillipa’s Green Olive Toscano bread… mmmm. Drizzle some olive oil over before serving if you like.

Oh, and this dip can sit for at least a week in the fridge! I’m living proof – just ate it on toast, while typing the above.

Baba ghanoush and toast

Lunch for one!

Ingredients

  • 3 medium eggplants
  • 3 or 4 large dessertspoons of tahini (roughly half a cup)
  • 1 fat clove of garlic (or two small ones I suppose), crushed
  • 1 tsp salt,
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper (if you really hate heat you could leave it out – I couldn’t even taste this amount in the dip!)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 C (375 F).

If you have a gas stove, char the eggplants by putting them directly on the bars of the stove, over the burner. Use tongs to turn them until the skin is blackened and crisp all over. This should take about five to ten minutes depending on the strength of your flame!

If you have an electric stove, you can do this step by charring the eggplants under the griller, or just skip it (although then you won’t have as smoky a flavour).

Cover a baking tray with foil and put the eggplants on it. Roast them in the oven for half an hour until you can poke a knife through with no worries. Cool.

Cut the eggplants in half and scoop and scrape the flesh away from the skin. Put it in a chopper, blender or food processor – I used the chopper attachment that came with my stick mixer.

Add all the other ingredients and give it a whizz! Job done. Season again if you think it needs it.

Baba ghanoush

Smooth and silky baba ghanoush.

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