After discovering only recently young Clare use to be a vegetarian for quite some years I was taken back as my stint of vegetarianism only lasted 4 years. I missed eating steak with gravy and hot chips, I grew up in the country and we ate plenty of beef and not so much of any other animal. Most people crave bacon I hear. All of my recipes are inspired by the produce we grow or local farmer’s stalls at markets. Seasonal food is a passion and lucky for me I live in Queensland and in my small little pocket I have eggplant still growing and going to fruit.
My sister and I are always rivalling each other about what we grow in our gardens. The last time my sister served me one of her home-grow eggplants it was not ripe and it burned my mouth with bitterness. This time around we were given some more eggplants from her garden and this time they were ripe, the skin dark and the stem looked like it did not put up a fight. I was a little envious of receiving such a reward from her backyard garden. Now that she has mastered the technique of telling when they are ripe and how to pick, I wanted to show Amy how I could eat them with love.
To give these two beautiful pear shaped fruits some justice, I was going to keep them simple, making them the stars of the show. By roasting them in a drizzle of oil it keeps the integrity of the flavour.
I learnt to make baba ganoush when I worked in a Turkish restaurant which seems like a long time ago. The first part that kept the integrity was roasting the eggplant. We use to roast them over coals to get them all charred on the outside, before busting them open to get the goo that was left inside. The flavour always turned a little sweeter doing it this way.
It’s a simple recipe to impress your friends on a Friday arvo knock-off or to sulk over while another is having an exotic vacation.
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- 1 lge or 2 med sized eggplants
- 2 tbsp yoghurt
- 2 tspn tahini
- 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
- 2 lemons, juiced
- salt, generous pinch
- olive oil
- Pre-heat your oven to 200’c cut the eggplants in half-length ways and place flesh side up on a baking tray. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top of the flesh and bake for about 1 hour. You are looking for the eggplant to be quite soft in the interior.
- Allow the eggplant to cool, then pull off the skin, place in a strainer to allow any excess water from the eggplant to escape. Then mash the eggplant pulp to a paste, add the garlic, yoghurt, and lemon juice, salt and mix to combine.
- Check for seasoning and then drizzle a little olive oil over the top. Serve with some slices of toasted sourdough bread.