Burnt aubergine & tahini dip

Aubergine dip by the james kitchen
Aubergine dip, a photo by the james kitchen on Flickr.

This is a lovely dip and a variation of a classic middle-eastern aubergine dip. I have seen it speckled with pomegranate seeds in Ottolenghi’s Plenty but left out the cucumber and tomatoes since we had lots of those in the tabouleh on the side. Both were a fitting company for grilled rosemary & thyme marinated lamb chops. This will be a good contender on any mezze plate, served as appetizers or party dips with warm flat bread from the wood oven.

Oh, by the way: I have worked a bit on the About page and added a Larder.

Burnt aubergine & tahini dip
adapted from Ottolenghi’s Plenty

1 large or 2 smaller aubergines (eggplant)
2 tablespoons (70g) of tahini (sesame paste), adjust to your taste
60ml (1/4 cup) water
2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses / syrup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove, grated
1 handful of parsley, chopped

pomegranate seeds
olive oil
salt & pepper & piment d’espelette for spice

Pierce the aubergines with a knife (this way they will not burst) and bake in a hot oven or under the grill for about an hour. Normally I will just squeeze them into the oven while I am baking or roasting something else. Or, you can burn them over your gas stove holding the aubergine with tongs, although I find that a bit tedious and did this: just place them on a barbecue, turning them around until you get that lovely charred outside.

Scoop out the flesh and leave in a colander to drain for about ½ hour. Whisk the tahini and water in a big enough bowl until you get a smooth paste and add the chopped aubergine along with all the other ingredients (reserve the pomegranate seeds, olive oil). Test the seasonings, you might want to add more lemon, salt, pepper or piment d’espelette.
To serve, sprinkle with some pomegranate seeds and drizzle with a little oil.

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