Baba ghanoush is my go-to starter in any Middle Eastern/Mediterranean restaurant. I just can’t get enough of it – it’s like the perfect marriage between aubergine and tahini, two of my favourite foods like, ever.
So one day I discovered that, to my delight, my beloved baba ghanoush had begun popping up in the dip aisle of the supermarket. Blinded by love for it, I ate pot after pot of the stuff, never really thinking to check out the list of ingredients on the back (FYI this was the old me, these days if I pick up anything that comes in a packet I’ve scanned the ingredients list before you can say ‘monosodium glutamate’. But by the time I finally did check what was in it, it was too late – Mr H had fallen for it as well, and he refused to listen when I told him that some of the ingredients weren’t so great.
So with a little bit of trial and a lot of error, I got in the kitchen and created my own recipe. It took a while, I won’t lie. I knew it needed to be good, as I was up against tough competition and I was the underdog. But every underdog has his day, and I’m pleased to say that I did manage to win over Mr H in the end, and that he hasn’t (to my knowledge) been back to the dip aisle since.
The beauty of this recipe is in its simplicity; it looks (and sounds) so fancy but all it requires is grilling an aubergine for a little while and then whizzing it up with the other ingredients, that’s it! It’s so creamy you wouldn’t believe it’s dairy free (which, by the way, is something to look out for – some places add yogurt into their recipes but if you make it right it will be perfectly creamy without needing to add any dairy ingredients) and it’s just so light and delicious.
I love having it with carrot sticks, homemade pita bread or sweet potato wedges, but it goes really well with salads or meat dishes too. It’s also super healthy, so unlike other creamy dips you don’t need to worry about eating too much of it. In fact, aubergines are a great source of fibre and vitamins B1 and B6, as well as an antioxidant called nasunin which promotes healthy brain function. So get smart, and get cooking!
- 1 aubergine
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 cloves garlic
- A pinch of salt
Pop the aubergine under the grill at 180 degrees for about half an hour, turning every five minutes or so. When the skin is all black and wrinkly on the outside remove it from the grill and leave it to cool while you prepare the other ingredients.
Add all the other ingredients to a food processor and once the aubergine has cooled down, cut it in half, scoop out all the insides and add these to the food processor too. Whizz until all the ingredients are combined – the texture should be deliciously smooth and creamy. Spoon into a bowl (garnish with coriander, paprika, olive oil and pine nuts if you like) and enjoy!
Love, Mrs H xx