I love nibbles - the selection of crisps, crudités, olives and of course dips one enjoys at the beginning of an evening, ideally in the sunshine with an ice cold glass of rosé in hand, nibbles to me as much of an event as the actual sitting down to eat and not something that should just be a matter of cracking open a bag of Doritos.
On my ever growing culinary list of things to attempt making during lockdown are potato crisps (alongside you know soufflé, paella, pasta and all the other things I have never had the effort or confidence in me to attempt), but for now I wanted to find an easy DIY version of one of my favourite dips, the middle eastern aubergine based baba ganoush!
You can't really get it done well in the supermarket, ready made versions tend to have a gross consistency and also lack any depth in flavour, which is why I was so happy to find out just how easy it is to make it at home!
Some recipes call for an open flame or grill to char the aubergine but this version allows you to use a conventional oven and once the aubergine halves are nice and charred, this does take a good 40 minutes, it is a super fast assemble job all done by hand (no need to blend using a food processor) to get you a dreamy bowl of baba ganoush, topped with some pomegranate seeds for extra wow factor.
I loved the depth of flavours in the finished dip and will for sure add homemade baba ganoush to my nibble repertoire! A perfect addition to start any evening in style and a great thing to make during these warmer days!
- 2 medium aubergines
- 2 medium cloves of garlic, pressed or minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice, more if necessary
- ¼ cup tahini
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing the eggplant and garnish
- ¾ teaspoon salt, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- Some fresh pomegranate seeds
- Serving suggestions: with celery or pitta!
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius with a rack in the upper third of the oven.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Halve the aubergines lengthwise and brush the cut sides lightly with olive oil.
- Place them in the prepared pan with the halved sides down.
- Roast the aubergine until the interior is very tender throughout and the skin is collapsing, about 35 to 40 minutes.
- Set the aubergine aside to cool for a few minutes.
- Flip the eggplants over and scoop out the flesh with a large spoon, leaving the skin behind.
- Place a mesh strainer over a mixing bowl, then transfer the flesh to the strainer and discard the skins.
- Pick out any stray bits of eggplant skin and discard. You want to remove as much moisture from the aubergine here as possible, so let the aubergine rest for a few minutes and shake/stir the aubergine to release some more moisture.
- Discard all of the aubergine drippings, drain and wipe out the bowl, and dump the aubergine into the bowl.
- Add the garlic and lemon juice and stir vigorously with a fork until eggplant breaks down.
- Add the tahini to the bowl and stir until it’s incorporated.
- While stirring, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.
- Continue stirring until the mixture is pale and creamy, and use your fork to break up any particularly long strings of aubergine.
- Stir in the salt and cumin. Season to taste with more salt and more lemon juice if needed
- Transfer the baba ganoush to a serving bowl and top with fresh pomegranate seeds!