So this months Random Recipe and Alphabake entry was planned earlier in the week, in good time for the deadline - which is er today.. however I had a bit of a flare and spent two days in a zombie state...these new painkillers sure are strong but if they sort out my hip it will be worth it! It was already fun climbing stairs with a pair of dodgy knees but throwing in the hip is just no fun! I think this week I survived mostly on tea and ready to eat cocktail sausages which are kept in the drinks fridge (my weakness!).
Fortunately this morning with the rain brought a brighter day after and I actually made it out of the house, albeit with my boyfriend driving and it was only to the garden centre but it was still nice to see daylight! Plus it has a great food hall and I picked up something for my dad's birthday which I better not write here just incase he reads this...
So enough of me rambling - I normally ask my boyfriend to choose at random but he was out and being unable to bend at the time I reduced my selection to the shelf at arm level and methodically counted to ten whilst moving my arm back and forth - the neighbours already know I am a bit special so hopefully just carried on by... the book turned out to be 'Just like mother used to make' which my mum actually did buy for me a few years back. Its full of homely recipes but seems to solely be used for drop scones so it was about time a new recipe was tried from its floury pages! I then as per the chosen letter of A for this months theme, then closed my eyes and moved my finger up and down the tiny A section for a further 10 seconds and out came Baba Ganoush - which is technically B but its made with aubergines and listed under A so it became the chosen recipe! For some reason I have always loved the name Baba Ganoush, it sounds so exotic like some foreign dancer or stage presence!
The recipe itself is a doddle to make, apart from that I have the slowest oven in the world so took double the time stated but it was delicious. B had never eaten it before and in all honesty I wasn't sure if I had but I love anything aubergine'y so really it couldn't be bad... its best eaten with loved ones, the garlic breath is entirely worth it!
I scaled the original recipe down slightly - I always find aubergines vary so much in size - my dad actually picked it up for me as he lives near lots of great little ethnic grocers and was coming around for lunch - and assumed mine was a medium to large sized one and I have scaled the recipe accordingly. I also subbed the extra virgin olive oil for extra virgin rapeseed oil, mainly as the EVOO I have is very tasty but also very peppery and I wanted to taste the aubergine and the latter oil is nice and buttery tasting....mmm butter! And the lemon juice was from a bottle shh!
Also whilst it says to use a food processor, I am lacking this one essential piece of technology and used the liquidiser which worked a treat - if using a food processor don't worry about chopping things up before hand. I finished it off with a little smoked paprika as it made the smoosh a bit more attractive and a little more smokier too!
Makes one bowl of lovely dip/ puree/ smoosh
1 med/ large aubergine
1 clove garlic
2 tsp tahini
1 tbsp extra virgin rapeseed oil
1/4 tsp salt (I used himalayan)
few twists black pepper
2 tsp lemon juice
Smoked paprika to garnish if desired
If you are lucky enough to have a gas hob, sear the aubergine all over until skin is wrinkled. If like me you don't, place the whole aubergine in the oven, on its highest setting until the skin has wrinkled. The book claimed 20 minutes. Mine was more 45 minutes.. and it burst, guessing that was a good sign it was ready.. place in a bowl and cover, leave to cool.
Once cooled, remove the skin and discard the stalk, chop roughly and place in the blender with everything else. Blitz to form a smooth puree. Taste and adjust accordingly - I added a little bit more lemon and salt to mine to taste. It says to leave it 30 minutes to thicken but my cooked aubergine had been left whilst out for a good few hours and I served it up after about 5 minutes and was perfect for us!
Spoon the mixture into a serving bowl and sprinkle over a little smoked paprika if desired.
I served ours with a little fridge raid feast - toasted pitta breads, olives, rosebud beetroots and carrot sticks. B loved it, he did comment that this meal would be something he would never had considered before meeting me. I guess thats a good compliment! It was clean plates all round after!
Overall verdict? A resounding yes to enjoying it now and yes to having it again! I loved its silky smooth texture and little hum of lemon and garlic, definitely a keeper.
Many thanks to this months hosts for the inspiration to give some love back to the cookbooks:
Dom at Belleau Kitchen