This smoky, creamy and velvety baba ganoush is high on our nomination list for the best way to cook and eat aubergines this summer. After a short stint on the barbecue - where the exteriors char and interiors melt - the aubergines are mixed with tahini, lemon, garlic, and cumin. The silky dip is then topped with pomegranate seeds and parsley giving freshness and vibrancy to every scoop and spoonful.
Depending on the weather and your cooking set up, you have a couple options on how to cook the aubergines for this dip. The method that contributes the most flavour and depth is over a hot barbecue, where the aubergine flesh becomes soft after just fifteen minutes and the coals help develop smokiness. If a barbecue isn’t an option, you can achieve similar results indoors by using a very hot griddle pan. Make sure you don’t rush the process; although it will take slightly longer to achieve the melty fall-apart texture in the aubergine, it will get there.
2 large aubergines
1 lemon, juiced
3 tbsp (45g) tahini
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
2 tbsp (30g) olive oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cumin
30g pomegranate seeds
10g parsley, chopped
¼ tsp sumac
If preparing the aubergines on a barbecue, prepare and light it for medium high heat. Lightly oil the grates and place the aubergines onto them. Cook the aubergines for 15-18 minutes, turning occasionally, until the skins are charred and the flesh is soft.
If preparing the aubergines on a griddle pan, heat the pan over high heat. Place the aubergines onto the pan and cook them for 30-35 minutes, turning occasionally, until the flesh is extremely soft.
Transfer the aubergines to a colander set over the sink and let them cool for 20 minutes or until you can handle them with your hands.
Use your hands to remove the skin off of the aubergines and discard them (the skins). Let the peeled aubergines sit for 15 more minutes in the colander, where they will release any excess liquid they contain.
Transfer the aubergines into a food processor, along with the lemon juice, tahini, garlic, olive oil and salt and cumin. Blend the aubergines for 2-3 minutes, until creamy. Taste for salt and adjust to taste.
Serve the baba ganoush topped with pomegranate seeds, chopped parsley, sumac and a drizzle of olive oil.
by Valentina Concordia
Valentina is our Food Creative, who dreams up our tasty dishes and recipes for our social channels. She has loads of experience cooking up a storm in Italian kitchens, so it’s no surprise she can’t live without good-quality olive oil (don’t come between her and her olive oil) and fresh pasta.