Share your favourite cuisine.
Today was a tough one to settle on, as even after so many years on this planet I’m still not 100% sure what my favourite cuisine is. If you asked me as a child, I definitely would have said Italian. I loved pasta. Mexican was also up there. Since my tastes have developed (thank goodness), I enjoy newer favourites of Japanese, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Indian and Moroccan, to name a few.
But at the end of the day, the decision about what to make was influenced strongly by the supply of eggplants in my kitchen. And so I turn to Middle Eastern cuisine to bring you this simple version of baba ghanoush. I call it a simple version as instead of holding eggplants in a flame or under the grill to blister the skin, this is a kind of ‘express’ baba ghanoush for when you want the dip but without all the messy peeling and time spent standing over a burner. In skipping this part a little of the smoky flavour is lost, which is why I like to add a dash of liquid smoke – what a cheat!
2 medium eggplants
generous amount of salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp tahini
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cumin
¼ cup flat leaf parsley
dash liquid smoke (optional)
olive oil for cooking and extra to drizzle on top
Peel eggplants and slice into inch thick rounds. Sprinkle with salt and leave in a colander to drain for about 15 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
Preheat oven to 280C and line a baking tray with paper. Lay eggplant on tray and brush with olive oil. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, flipping once. Remove from oven. From here, you can either use a blender or just a fork depending on what consistency you prefer. I like a little chunkiness, so I transfer the eggplant flesh to a bowl and mash with a fork. Add remaining ingredients and mix to combine.
To serve, top with olive oil and some fresh parsley (and with some pita chips!)