Monday, 11 November 2013

Baba ghannoush that isn't baba ghannoush

As much as I love Middle Eastern mezes, consisting all those of salads and dips, there's a reason hummus has not been seen in this blog yet. I've simply overdone to a point we currently continue our lives separately.

Another classic  I'd probably have potential to like more is baba ghannoush - Middle Eastern dip made of roasted eggplant, tahini and oil. But that, too, comes with tahini. Tahini, sesame seed paste is something I've never learnt to appreciate, though the halva my Israeli blogger colleague brought on her last visit to Finland was so yummy there's a chance certain development has been made in that sector as well!

But at some point ( probably on New York Times - Sunday just isn't Sunday without it!) I came across a recipe that combined eggplant with Greek yogurt. This is my take on it.

As part of a meze meal serves appr. 4

2 largeish eggplants (total around 800 g)
the juice of 1/2 lemon 
3/4 dl Greek yogurt 
1/2 rkl pomegranate molasses
1 tl salt
1 tl black pepper
1 heaped tbsp chopped parsley

to serve. the seeds of 1/2 pomegranate

Heat oven to 200. Prick the eggplants (or they'll explode, apparently) and roast on parchment-lined tray for an hour or until the skin is all wrinkly and they are soft. Let cool until manageable, split them in half, scoop out the inside and blizz (together with lemon juice) until smooth. Add yogurt, mix well and season. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds on top and serve. For instance with herby flatbread crisps!

You could use the Arabian flat breads but even tortillas work well. Feel free to make ready made zaatar blend (should you be able to get your hands on some) but don't worry if you won't. Adjust the quantity and type of herbs on the availability.

Flatbread crisps:

Tortillas or flat breads
salt, pepper
Za'atar spice mix OR
dried oregano, thyme and mint

Brush the other half with oil and sprinkle salt, pepper and the herbs you're using on top. Bake at 200 until they have a bit of colour on them (5-7 minutes). Cut in half and then each half into 4-5 segments.

Though I'm normally not one to employ words such as "The best ever" to describe my cooking, I'm just going to have make an exception. I doubt I've ever made anything as addictive before. The salty spiciness of the crisps combined with the creaminess of the eggplant, the sour tang of the yogurt and the bursting juiciness of the pomegranate seeds... Just about perfect, I'll tell you. The crisps would also work with tzatziki, fava bean dip and muhammara!




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