Aubergine with Black Garlic and Herbs

Here’s a recipe from Ottolenghi’s new cookbook Plenty More. It’s exquisite. Don’t get intimidated by the ingredients list. Just go with it. Trust me.

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As usual, the recipe is modified to be a bit easier and not so detail obsessed.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 long aubergines cut into circles about 1-2 cm thick
  • 2 long red chilli peppers (medium hot)
  • 4 large cloves of regular garlic
  • 4 cloves of black garlic*
  • About 3 large tablespoons of Greek yogurt
  • Lemons
  • Some pretty herbs such as basil, dill and tarragon.

What to do:

Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. Lay the aubergine slices on the trays and gently brush them with olive oil on each side, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until they become golden brown and soft. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.

Meanwhile, slice the garlic cloves and the red chilli on a diagonal and heat a couple millimetres of olive oil in a small frying pan. When the oil is very hot, throw in the chilli and garlic and fry until the garlic gets golden and the chillies shrivel and everything becomes very aromatic.

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Make sure you remove the garlic and chillies (using a slotted spoon) just as they’re getting golden, they’ll continue to cook once you’ve removed them from the oil so you don’t want anything to burn. Remove and place on to a paper towel on a plate.

In a small blender or food processor, blitz the yogurt, black garlic cloves, the juice of one lemon, and some salt until smooth.

Once the aubergine slices are cooked, remove and place on to a pretty or serving platter. Scatter the garlic and chillies over it, tear up the herbs and sprinkle them on top. Then drizzle the black garlic yogurt over everything and serve your awe-inspired guests. Presentation is essential with this dish.

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My guests chose to fold each aubergine slice into a taco-style bite, with the aubergine as the taco and the chilli, garlic, yogurt and herbs as the filling. These flavour combinations are about as about as unique and exciting as it gets. ESPECIALLY if you’re able to get your hands on some black garlic.

Enjoy!

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* Black Garlic is pretty incredible. It’s basically normal garlic that’s been cooked slowly over several weeks so that it takes on an incredible caramelisation leaving it sweet and delicious without any garlicky after taste. It’s incredibly healthy for you. If you can get your hands on some I highly recommend you make this a part of your normal ingredient repertoire. I was lucky enough to score some from Black Garlic UK but if you’re not in the UK do a bit of investigation online and I’m sure you’ll find some no problem!

If you’re not able to find any, or you need to make this recipe RIGHT NOW and you only have regular garlic, I suggest you chop the top of an entire garlic bulb–drizzle it with olive oil, salt and pepper and wrap in some tin foil. Roast the garlic bulb for at least an hour or until your whole house smells incredible. Squeeze out the golden brown garlicky paste and use this instead. 

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