The silly season of parties has started for some in the lead up to Christmas, which often means taking a plate or a dip to share. I have made this seriously delicious eggplant or aubergine dip a couple of times now, and the last batch kept in the refrigerator for nearly two weeks. It actually improved in flavour over that time. The pomegranate molasses and mint give this a distinctive Middle Eastern flavour. It is essential though to use freshly picked eggplant for the best result. This recipe comes from the amazing Maggie Beer's Recipe for Life Book, a worthwhile purchase, and when I saw this list of ingredients including mint and pomegranate molasses I had to try it.
I have also frozen a couple of containers full, minus the pomegranate seeds as it makes quite a lot, and these will be great over Christmas, with the pomegranate seeds providing a festive garnish when needed.
2 large eggplants or smaller eggplants such as Japanese or White to the equivalent of 600-800g.
1/3 cup (90g) unhulled tahini
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped mint
Seeds of 1/2 pomegranate for garnish
Preheat your oven to 250 deg. C. (fan forced)
Place the eggplants on a baking tray and roast for 20 minutes or until the skin has blackened and blistered and the flesh is soft. Remove them from the oven and set aside on a tray to cool. When cool enough to handle, peel off and discard the skin and scoop the flesh into a colander. Leave the flesh to drain for about 10-15 minutes.
In your food processor, process the tahini, garlic, molasses, cumin, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil until smooth. Add the eggplant and the chopped herbs and pulse until just combined. Check the seasoning, then transfer to a serving bowl.
To decorate, garnished with pomegranate seeds scattered over the surface of your baba ganoush. Serve with Lebanese bread, biscuits, or barbecued broccoli as Maggie Beer suggests.
I also have an easier and more economical recipe for Baba Ganoush on my blog, but it is still a very tasty version. It is essentially minus the pomegranate, molasses and mint and you can find that recipe here. It just depends whether or not you want to invest in a fresh pomegranate and some pomegranate molasses and show off over the Christmas season a little which can be fun and is always appreciated.