Jessica Prescott’s Baba Ganoush
The unique, smoky taste of baba ganoush comes from the process of blackening the aubergine. I like to blitz mine so it’s smooth, but you can also use a fork if you prefer something a little more rustic and chunky. Either way, it’s delicious.
1 large or 2 medium-sized aubergines
2 garlic cloves (optional), peeled
1 generous tbsp tahini
drizzle of olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp smoked paprika (optional)
sea salt flakes
a handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, to garnish
toasted pine nuts or flaked almonds, to garnish
First, blacken the aubergine. Preheat your oven to its highest temperature. Pierce the aubergine a few times with a fork, place it on a baking tray on the top shelf (or second-to-top if your aubergine is too big) and cook for around 5-10 minutes, until the skin is black and blistering. Turn over and repeat. Alternatively – if you are lucky enough to have a gas stove or barbecue – you can place it over an open flame and turn with tongs as it blackens and blisters. While the aubergine is cooling, prepare the other ingredients.
There’s not much to do here, really, just roughly chop the garlic and juice the lemon. Once the aubergine is cool, cut it open and scoop out the flesh. Some people like to discard the seeds, but I keep mine because it seems a shame to throw them away. Place the flesh in a bowl or blending receptacle with the chopped garlic, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, cumin seeds, paprika and some salt. Being the salty lady that I am, I like to use about 1 tsp of salt flakes. If you’re less salty, start with ½ tsp. Mash with a fork or blend with a food processor, until everything is thoroughly combined.
Put the dip into a new serving bowl and garnish with the parsley and toasted pine nuts or flaked almonds. If not eating immediately, chill until ready to eat.
Serve with seedy crackers, falafel, soft bread or toasted bread. Anything that calls for a dip, really.
Extracted from Vegan Goodness by Jessica Prescott (Hardie Grant, approx €18).