Baba ghanoush

Baba ghanoush

By
From
Best Kitchen Basics
Serves
4
Photographer
Petrina Tinslay

A close relative of the tomato and potato, the eggplant is a staple ingredient in a diverse range of cultures. Since prehistoric times, it has been cultivated in South and East Asia, and the first known record of it is from a Chinese agricultural text dating from 544 AD. It was also grown in north Africa and was introduced to the Mediterranean area in the Middle Ages by Arab agriculturists.

Eggplant also happens to be my favourite fruit. It is the texture that is so satisfying. Coupled with its incredible versatility, I find it hard to beat.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 large eggplant
100ml olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 sprigs thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cumin

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Scorch the eggplant over a high gas flame or by using a kitchen blowtorch, to char the skin and create a smoky flavour.
  3. Cut the eggplant in half lengthways and score the flesh in a criss-cross pattern. Brush each half liberally with olive oil.
  4. Insert slices of garlic into the cuts, put a sprig of thyme on top and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Place the halves of the eggplant together and wrap in aluminium foil. Place on a baking tray and cook for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the eggplant from the oven and carefully unwrap it. Leave it until cool enough to handle.
  7. Using a large spoon, scoop out the flesh and put it in a bowl with the cumin and remaining olive oil and whip to combine. This is best eaten on the day it’s made, but will store for a couple of days.
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