Baba ghanoush is a popular Middle Eastern dish, often served as a dip with pitta breads. I sometimes add cooked chickpeas to mine for a simple, flavoursome curry, or toss it through pasta with fresh mint for an easy lunch. I highly recommend cooking the aubergines over an open flame for a deep, smoky intensity – I hold mine over a medium gas hob with a pair of barbecue tongs and my sleeves rolled up – although charring under the grill is nearly as good. (A traditional baba wouldn’t use the chopped tomatoes, by the way, but when I wrote this recipe, I didn’t have £2.30 for a jar of tahini to sit in my cupboard! You could use a teaspoon of peanut butter thinned with a little oil for a substitute for tahini, if you like.)
1 large aubergine
a fat clove of garlic
1 tablespoon oil
a pinch of cumin (ground or seeds)
juice and zest of half a lemon, or 1 tbsp bottled lemon juice
1 x 400g carton or tin of chopped tomatoes
a handful of fresh coriander
Chop the stem off the end of the aubergine and pierce the skin all over with a fork or sharp knife. Cook under a hot grill or over an open flame for 10 minutes, turning to char the skin on all sides.
Cut the aubergine in half and spoon the flesh from the skin (which can be discarded) into a small pan.
Peel and crush the garlic and add to the aubergine, along with the oil and cumin. Soften on a low heat for a few minutes, then add the lemon and tomatoes. Stir and cook until heated through. Finely chop the coriander, and stir through to serve.
Baba Ghanoush recipe from A Girl Called Jack by Jack Monroe. Available to order from The Hive, supporting your local independent book store.
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