Monday, December 31, 2012

Baba Ghanoush

A change of holiday plans has seen me back home from Japan early and as much as I love it over there, it is nice to sleep in a proper bed. However the festive season has meant the amount of food I am being fed hasn’t decreased and after a week of overeating, my family has decided that we need to tackle our respective Christmas tummy bulges. Of course activities such as exercise should also be included in the schedule to achieve this goal but the Boxing Day Test meant three solid days lazing around on the couch, in front of the television.

In between the Christmas lunches and dinners, we have managed to sneak a couple of light meals (well, at least one anyway). After a heavy lunch and an afternoon of beer and snacks, I thought it might be nice to use some of the few kilos of eggplant we’ve harvested over the past week and make my first ever baba ghanoush.

The recipe I used is from Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Companion cookbook, which I mention in this post. I should have made some flatbread (recipe also in this book) to serve with it but I was tired so opted to toast some sourdough bread and cut it up to serve alongside the dip. It was my first time grilling eggplants and I couldn’t contain my delight when I was able to easily peel the skin off the charred aubergines. I am sure the New Year will bring many more “firsts” as I head into my post-graduate degree and I am looking forward to the challenge.

Happy New Year!!

Baba Ghanoush (adapted from the Kitchen Garden Companion)

1kg eggplant
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ cup Greek yoghurt
½ cup tahini
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Juice of 3 lemons, to taste
Sourdough toast, warmed flatbread, rice crackers, etc

1. Heat a barbeque grill-plate until hot. Roast eggplants, turning 2-3 times so they roast evenly; it will take approximately 15 minutes for the skin to char and the eggplants to feel quite soft. Remove with tongs, leave to cool slightly and  peel away charred skin. Cut the eggplants  lengthways and put into a colander resting over a bowl. After 10 minutes, put the drained eggplant into a clean cloth/paper towel and gently squeeze. Chop the flesh quite finely and put it into a large mixing bowl.

2. Put cumin into the mixing bowl with the chopped eggplant.

3. Whisk yoghurt with a pinch of salt until creamy. Add yoghurt, tahini, garlic and half of the lemon juice to the eggplant before mixing together. Taste, add more lemon juice if needed, season with salt and pepper.

4. Serve alongside carbohydrate of choice. If using flatbread, place the baba ghanoush in a plate or shallow bowl so it is easy to dip the bread into it.

- Matilda  

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