I’m not hoarding, promise. But I must admit I am probably a bit ambitious when I go to the green grocer. For example, I bought a large eggplant six days ago and it’s still in the crisper. I would have been thinking of curried eggplant with fish and/or naan. Or eggplant and minced lamb with cous cous.
None of the options materialised during the week so tonight I turned the eggplant into baba ganoush. That way, it’s an option in coming days for serving with lamb kofta, or with naan as a nibble/meal with olives and a green such as rocket, Warragul greens (in the garden) or lettuce. It could be a canapé option for a Friday night sundowner and would even make a great sauce for black bean rissoles I reckon. Worst case (?) it can be lunch with rice crackers. Maybe two lunches if I’m restrained. Oh, and it can be frozen….
- Put an eggplant on the gas burner for a few minutes
2. When I hear a sizzle or see smoke, I turn it on the burner. I keep turning in this fashion until it seems to be fully blistered and I can smell some smokiness. I might add that I try not to peer at it too closely as I suspect that there is a potential for the insides to explode with the development of steam from internal heat pressure. It’s never happened but….
3. When it’s fully blistered, put it in an ovenproof container in an oven pre-heated to at least 180 deg celsius.
4. If it’s a large, dense eggplant it might need 30-40 minutes of baking but check it occasionally to ensure it becomes soft but not burnt.
When soft right through, pull out of the oven and cool. If there are bits stuck on the bottom of the container , pour in a little wine (don’t fret; whatever you’re drinking will be fine) to soften and make a lovely additive liquor
When cool, peel it and put the peel in the compost. Put the cooked eggplant into the food processor.
Add a quarter of a cup of tahini, two or three cloves of garlic (depending on taste and your assessment of how large your eggplant is), half a cup of lime juice, one tsp of ground cumin; and a small handful of parsley into the food processor (I use a Thermomix} and process.
5. Turn out and either put in an airtight container for tomorrow or serve and garnish for later tonight. The image below is pretty bald; it’s what I would seal and put in the fridge. If serving, I’d sprinkle with herbs and serve with supporting bowls of carrot sticks; celery sticks; interesting crackers and olives. For colour, and particularly if you have not persevered with your smoking of the eggplant, a sprinkling of smoked paprika is a good idea.
6. If this is part of a larger scale catering effort, this recipe qualifies as vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. Of course, you need to offer appropriate things to scoop it with to enable patrons to maintain that status!
7. Finally, I recommend you cook this on your gas point a day before your cleaner is due!