I have always thought that aubergines are a bit rogue. Do you boil it? Do you fry it? Do you peel it? Do you eat it whole or in chunks? Aubergine or eggplant?
Because of these questions I have never been that keen on using recipes that includes it as an ingredient, until now…
Recently I went for lunch at an incredible restaurant hidden away in Neal’s Yard – The Barbary. Their open-plan kitchen/dining area seats 24 guests on stools that overlook the chefs at their exquisite work. Their sharing menu is perfect for those that like to try a bit of everything, even those things you’ve never tried before. With dishes ranging from Jerusalem bagels, to ikra, msabacha chickpeas and even baklawa, The Barbary is all about collecting and sharing ingredients and recipes and gathering influences from areas all over the globe.
This is where I first discovered ‘Baba Ganoush’. Okay, I may be a bit slow in following this trend, but I had never heard of it before and other than finding the name pretty fun to say I was also intrigued. I love all types of dips – houmous, tzatziki, guacamole etc. and so I thought that I was guaranteed to love this too, despite the fact that is was majority aubergine. I was right.
How did I survive before baba ganoush?!
Anyways, since then I have been meaning to make it for myself at home and as part of my #VeganChallenge I thought that it was the perfect opportunity to try it out. This simple recipe can be whipped up to enjoy with salad, raw veggies or Ryvita thins and with only a few ingredients it’s also cheap and cheerful. This month I wanted to find some healthy and yummy snack alternatives to indulge on to prevent me heading for the chocolate drawer and this hits the spot! You can try this dip with a variety of herbs and spices to suit your individual tastes (I personally like it pretty simple). Give it a go and let me know what you think.
– 2 medium aubergines
– 1x 400g can chickpeas (mostly drained)
– 1 large clove of garlic
– Juice of 1 lemon
– 3 tbsp. tahini
– 1 tsp. sea salt
– 2 tbsp. olive oil
– 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
– Preheat the oven to 200°C
– Slice the aubergines in half and place on a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for approx. 45 minutes, or until soft with tops browning (see picture above). Set aside to cool.
– In a food processor add the chickpeas, garlic, lemon, tahini, salt and smoked paprika and blitz for a few seconds.
– Scoop the aubergine flesh out of the skins and add to the food processor (leaving the skins behind). Blitz for a few more seconds.
– Add the olive oil until fully combined.
(I like my baba ganoush a little bit chunky so do not blend for too long, but if you prefer it smooth just keep blending until desired consistency).
– Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and any other spices you desire (chilli, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper or parsley!)
– Refrigerate in a container for up to 4 days.