I ADORE aubergines. That colour gets me every time. So beautiful! Yotam Ottolenghi calls it “the mighty aubergine” and I believe he has a point. He is one of my favourite chefs EVER, definitely check out his amazing cookbooks if you haven’t already. Three words: Middle Eastern deliciousness. Seriously good. If you are in London a visit to his eateries is basically a must. Go for brunch and you will find toasters on every table for toasting your own bread. Genius.
A little detour
Our lovely friends Max and Basti travel to Israel regularly and when we visited them a few weeks ago in Innsbruck they cooked up a storm for us. After a hike in the stunning surrounding mountains those dishes really hit the spot… One of them was an aubergine dip, so creamy and flavoursome that I was instantly inspired to create something similar. They had original Israeli tahini and trust me, it makes ALL the difference. As a die-hard Thermomix enthusiast I naturally make my own tahini but I have to admit that the original Middle Eastern stuff is better on so many levels… It’s runny and slightly salty, which makes it easy to stir into anything and gives depth to the flavours. So good!
Talking about inspiration, Basti is a successful artist and a shining example of how important is is to follow your heart on the road less traveled . If you want something bad enough you’ll get there. Definitely check him out online http://www.peel-art.com or on facebook Sebastian Peel.ART. His art is AMAZING. So inspiring. Another example is my friend Alexis, who is a successful actor, writer and producer. His latest play “Safe” had great reviews and I really wish I could have seen it. If you want to read more here’s a great Huffpost piece about him: http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/7461928.
Those two guys inspire me to follow my bliss with this blog. Each and every one of us has a unique gift that needs to be shared with the world. I have big plans!
In the meantime let me enlighten you regarding the nutritional goodness of this recipe.
- This beautiful vegetable is a nutritional allrounder
- It contains good amounts of folic acid, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin K. Folic acid is needed for healthy cell division, potassium keeps our heart beating regularly, vitamin C boosts our immune system and vitamin K is needed for healthy blood clotting
- The beautiful dark purple skin contains an array of phytonutrients that help protect us from cancer
- This beautifully rich paste is made from sesame seeds. They contain great amounts of copper and manganese
- Copper can reduce pain and swelling in those suffering from arthritis whilst manganese is needed for collagen production. Collagen is what keeps our skin nice and supple – enough said.
- Garlic is nature’s antibiotic of choice and works wonders if you suffer from cold induced by bacteria
- It also plays an important role in ridding your body of toxins and lowering blood pressure
Here’s a little anecdote – I once ate so much garlic at a Tapas place (slightly browned, SO GOOD) that I was sent home in disgrace from work the next day. And that despite having swallowed an entire packed of chlorophyl tablets that morning especially. I guess I was beyond help…
But first things first: here’s the recipe for my take on Baba Ganoush.
- 1 large aubergine
- 3 TBS tahini
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- Juice of ½ lemon
- ½ TS cumin
- ½ TS maple syrup or agave (raw cane sugar works as well but a liquid sweetener makes for a smoother paste)
- ½ TS sea salt (more if you like)
- 1 bunch of coriander
- Seeds of ½ pomegranate
- Preheat the oven on the circulating air setting to 160 degrees
- Pierce the aubergines' skin several times with a fork and roast for 45 mins, turning it every 10 minutes
- Take it out of the oven and leave to cool
- Chop the coriander, de-seed the pomegranate and squeeze the lemon.
- Scrape the flesh of the aubergine into a bowl
- Add all ingredients except the coriander and the pomegranate seeds and stir well
- Decorate with the coriander and the pomegranate and devour!
- I love piling this dip on to raw crackers or the Hemsley sisters quinoa toast... SO good!