On Melbourne Cup Day, we caught up with some friends over a ‘pot luck’ style BBQ. As usual I over-catered and brought along a few dips, a Blood Orange Syrup Cake and some home-made BBQ chicken skewers. Out of the dips I brought along, the Baba Ghanoush - a Middle Eastern eggplant based dip – seemed to be the most popular among the punters (I know, terrible Melbourne Cup Day joke).
I pre-roast my eggplant the night before, so that all I have to go on the day is whip together all of the ingredients in the food processor. Using a food processor results in a silky smooth dip. For a more rustic, chunky dip you could put some ‘elbow grease’ into it and mix all of the ingredients together by hand.
- 2 medium eggplants (choose eggplants which are firm, with deep purple glossy skins)
- 3 or 4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
- Juice of 1 ½ to 2 lemons (depending on size)
- ½ cup Tahini paste
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Teaspoons cumin
- ½ Teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional – leave out if you do not like spicy foods)
- Small handful of chopped mint
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the eggplants on the baking tray, drizzle with olive oil (I like to use my hands and rub the oil all around the eggplants to ensure that they are evenly coated) and season with salt and pepper. Pierce the eggplant skin a few times with a fork.
- Bake the eggplants until tender – about 3o to 40 minutes depending on size.
- Allow the eggplants to cool slightly (or overnight on a covered plate if preparing in advance), carefully remove the eggplant flesh from the skins and stems.
- Once the eggplant flesh has been removed place it, along with the lemon juice, olive oil and garlic into a food processor and puree to a smooth paste. Add the tahini and puree again. Add the cumin, cayenne pepper, chopped mint, salt and pepper
- Serve with warm flat bread, or savoury biscuits of your choice.