Baba Ganoush would make it into my top ten foods of all time. This Lebanese meza dish just hits all the right spots. I love aubergine, and the smoky flavours are amazing. It’s always the first thing my husband orders when we go out for Lebanese food, even though he knows he won’t get his fork anywhere near it.
I’ll be honest- this isn’t the recreation of baba ganoush that I was hoping for. In order to get that extreme smoky taste you really need an open flame and my electric hob just ain’t cutting it. I grilled the aubergine, but again, without a flame it doesn’t work. For now, I’ll continue to rely on Reem Al Bawadi for my baba ganoush kick.
This dish is still delicious in its own right though. The smokiness is subtle and pairs beautifully with the fresh lemon. Be generous with the pomegranate seeds and you’ve got yourself a very tasty dip.
Smoked Aubergine with Lemon and Pomegranate
Adapted from ‘Jerusalem’ by Ottolenghi
1 large aubergine
1 small garlic clove, crushed
grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped parsley
50g pomegranate seeds
Score the aubergine with a knife a few cm deep, about 10 times and place on a baking sheet under a hot grill for about an hour, turning every 20 minutes. The aubergine will be black and very soft.
Allow the aubergine to cool and then scoop out al the flesh. Discard the skin and put the flesh in a sieve over a bowl. Put some foil over the aubergine, and then a bowl filled with water to weigh the aubergine down. Allow the aubergine to drain out the water for at least an hour.
Place the aubergine in a bowl and add the garlic, lemon olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Stir and allow the aubergine to marinate at room temperature for an hour.
When you’re ready to serve it, stir in the parsley and check the seasoning. Scatter over the pomegranate seeds and garnish with a little parsley.
I served this with some pita bread and celery sticks. It would also be delicious served with other meze- humus and tabbouleh for example.