Tony Kitous – Founder of vibrant, souk-style restaurant Comptoir Libanais – has shared his recipe for the perfect baba ghanoush. You can discover this dish, and all of Comptoir Libanais' fragrant Middle Eastern flavours, right here on Deliveroo. But, if you want to go the extra mile for some guests, or show off your new-found Lebanese knowledge, here's Tony to show you how to bring it with your baba ghanoush.
"The secret to achieving a great flavour and texture in this simple mixture of cooked puréed aubergine, sesame paste and strained yoghurt is allowing the moisture to evaporate and concentrate the aubergine. When you get it right, you end up with an outrageously complex dish that defies easy explanation. To be honest, the tweaks you can make to this dish while still keeping it pure are many. The way you add the garlic, the type of yoghurt used, the way you spice it or not; all contribute to the unique signature each brings to their baba ghanoush.
To get the best flavour, you want to grill the aubergines over an open flame until the flesh is soft. So I char the skins over the flame of a gas hob then bake them with the garlic in the oven until tender. A friend of mine likes to char and bake an onion at the same time, and chops the soft onion though the mixture."
2 aubergines, about 500g
2-3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 tsp salt
75g of tahini (shop-bought, or home-made, see p. 230) stirred until creamy before measuring
25ml olive oil
50g Labneh (see p.56) or thick yoghurt
Chopped mint, pomegranate seeds and sumac to finish
Preheat the oven at 200°C/180 °C fan/gas 6.
Prick the aubergines and sit them over the flame of a gas hob to char the outer surface, rotating them so all sides get burned, then place on a baking tray with the garlic and bake in the oven for about 40 minutes until collapsed and very soft. Alternatively, place under a grill or on a barbecue with the garlic and cook until both are soft inside and the outer surface of the aubergine is charred.
Split the aubergines open on a chopping board, scoop put the soft flesh and discard the skin, then place the flesh in a colander over a bowl. Peel the garlic. Add half the salt to the aubergine, stir well and leave for 15 minutes to let any excess liquid drain away. Then return the flesh on the board, with the soft garlic, and chop finely with a knife. Discard any liquid from the bowl, place the chopped aubergine in it and stir in the remaining salt, along with the tahini and oil until thick. Add the labneh, then spread the baba ghanoush around the bowl with a spoon and sprinkle on the mint, pomegranate seeds and sumac to finish.
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