I know, another aubergine recipe again so quickly. It’s such a versatile vegetable though and I do love it. In the last year on holidays I had an absolutely gorgeous dish of aubergine carpaccio in a restaurant in Ibiza, called Aubergine, funnily enough. If you’re ever there I highly recommend it for a really special meal. That dish was the inspiration for this one but despite several attempts, I could not cook and finely slice the aubergine as needed. So it became a dip!
I did not want to call this baba ghanoush or mutabal as it is not an authentic recipe. To be honest it is a mashup of the two, only that it does not contain the tahini traditionally found in mutabal. This dip is delicious served as a side with lamb as above, or as part of a mezze with hummus and flatbread or vegetables.
Useful tips & links:
- The smokiness of this dip comes from cooking the aubergine on a barbecue or directly on a gas hob. If you don’t have access to either you can cook it under a very hot grill or in a hot oven. I have a little gas camping hob and use this to cook them.
- I like to leave this chunky but feel free to puree the flesh before adding in the chopped tomatoes.
- When I ate the aubergine carpaccio it had crumbled feta on top which was delicious. As an alternative, I topped mine with a thinner version of whipped feta to act as a sauce.
- For a hint of spice I topped with Aleppo pepper which I use regularly, but if you can’t get it use regular chilli flakes or sumac which is widely available.
- Make sure the different elements of this dish are made in advance to allow flavours to develop and then that everything is at room temperature before serving.
- I served this with a lovely piece of lamb loin with a pomegranate sauce. I need to finesse the recipe for this but have a look at this recipe from Sabrina Ghayour if you’d like to try something similar. If you want to keep it vegetarian, it would also be great served with Falafel.
- For more inspiration, have a look at Ellen’s gorgeous Baba Ghanoush recipe.
- An alternative recipe with aubergine as the star of the show is my Roast Aubergine with Tahini.
Smoky Aubergine Dip
- 2 aubergines, weighing approximately 700g
- Olive oil
- 80g of feta cheese
- 80g of natural yogurt
- 1 small clove of garlic, peeled
- Lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 4 small tomatoes, such as cherry or sunstream, or 1 regular tomato
- Pomegranate seeds
- Nigella seeds
- Aleppo pepper, sumac or chilli flakes
- Brush the aubergines with a little oil and cook on a barbecue, directly on a gas flame or under a hot grill. Turn them regularly until they are charred and blistered all over and starting to collapse into themselves. Put them into a bowl and cover the bowl with clingfilm until they are cool enough to handle. This will make it easier to peel them.
- While the aubergines are cooking make some whipped feta. Put the cheese, yogurt, garlic, a good squeeze of lemon juice and some black pepper into a food processor and whip until fully combined. Set aside to allow the flavours develop.
- Next make the dressing by whisking together a little olive oil and the pomegranate molasses, balsamic vinegar and the honey. Season with a little salt and pepper, taste and adjust the flavours as needed.
- When the aubergines are cool enough to handle, peel the charred skin from them, discard the skin and place the flesh into a sieve to allow the excess liquid to drain. If some of the charred skin stays on that’s fine to add an extra smoky flavour.
- Once drained, roughly chop the aubergines and run the knife over them until they are the texture you want. I like to leave mine a little chunky, you can go so far as to puree them in a food processor if you want them silky smooth.
- Slice or dice up the tomatoes and mix them through the aubergines and season with a little salt and pepper.
- When ready to serve, spread out the aubergine and tomato mix. Drizzle over some whipped feta and dressing. Top with a sprinkling each of pomegranate seeds, nigella seeds, chopped pistachios, fresh coriander and a little Aleppo pepper or chilli flakes. Taste and season or squeeze over a little more lemon juice if needed.