Well, just in case you haven’t realised this yet, I love eggplants and could have some no matter the way they are prepared! I used to buy eggplant dip – aka baba ganoush or caviar d’aubergine – and have always been quite scared of trying to make it at home. Though I did not look at a single eggplant dip recipe before, I though this would be a very difficult one and I wouldn’t see myself making this as an alternative to homemade hummus! A few days ago, I got quite bored of eating the same aubergine dip over and over which was too much on the lemon taste than the eggplant one. Then, I finally decided to look at recipes in books and realised that it’s so easy to make and uses only a few ingredients which got me like “I should totally try that!”. So here we go!
There are so many reasons why you should go for dips at any occasion. First, it’s a great addition to any meal your having as it bring creaminess and could potentially increase a vegetable intake or make your dish more nutritive. Second, dips tend to be really easy to make, requiring very few ingredients. It’s very convenient as you could totally batch make it and have it along the week, it makes such an amazing snack as well ! Finally, homemaking your dips is a good way to ensure that there’s no unnecessary ingredients in there. When buying dips in shop, they tend to contain a lot of salt – if not additives and so on – and be much less healthy than it would if homemade. So no more hesitation, upgrade the way you eat and impress your friends and family by making this eggplant dip with delicious and crispy flatbreads.
This eggplant dip is actually pretty healthy as it doesn’t require any heavy pan-frying nor a huge load of oil. You simply have to oven roast the eggplants cut in halves lengthwise with a drizzle olive oil over them after pre-cooking in a steamer. Steaming the aubergine will help the flesh get soft and tender, while the skin will start getting off the veggie. Then, I use a second cooking method by oven roasting the veggies so that i maximise the flavours and develop the eggplant’s crazy delicious smoky taste. If you are not fond of eggplants, that may be a very nice option to integrate this summer must have veggie into your diet. You make ask why, because in the end, that still is eggplant right? Well the answer is straight-forward: because you can balance the taste with the other ingredients !
This actually is the funniest part of making your own dip, it’s that you can play around with the products to find out which is the right balance for you. For example, if you dislike the slight bitterness of the eggplant, you’ll be surprised that adding a little more lemon into the dip makes the deal. Don’t be scared to use extra spices in there, or even a spoon of tahini if you feel like this will be too watery for you ! I mean, cooking makes things so much flexible, adaptable and versatile that you’ll most likely get creative instantly to adjust the flavours to your preferences.
RECIPE for XXXg
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes Chill time: 1 hour
You will need:
- 2 medium-small eggplants
- 1/2 large garlic clove
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 pinches Zaatar (+ extra for topping)
- A pinch of Espelette pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the flatbreads
- 310g flour
- 250ml water – you won’t be using it all
- 1 and a half tsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 20g olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 pinches nutmeg
- 2 pinches zaatar
Step 1 – Flatbread dough
In a large bowl, place the flour, salt, nutmeg and zaatar, combine together.
Heat up the 250ml of water so it reaches a temperature ranging from 35°C to 45°C. If you do not have a kitchen thermometer, make a test by placing so water on your wrist, you should feel just warm, not hot at all.
In a small bowl, place the yeast and sugar together, then pour 100ml of the heated water over it and stir gently for a minute or so to dissolve the yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes, you should progressively see some bubbles forming on top of the water, it means the yeast is activating.
After the 10 minutes, pour the yeast preparation in the flour bowl and start kneading, as you knead, add up the oil gradually and some water if necessary until it’s homogeneous and smooth. It should be soft and very flexible. Place a little flour in the bowl and let the dough sit for an hour covered with a kitchen cloth.
Step 2 – Eggplant Dip
Heat up your steamer. Remove the stem from the aubergines and place them to steam for 15 minutes.
Heat up the oven to 180°C.
When the eggplants are done steaming, take them out and cut in half lengthwise. Using a knife, cut the eggplant in a grid shape. Place the aubergines, cut face up, on an oven tray lined with parchment paper and drizzle a table spoon olive oil on top of them. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
When the eggplants are cooked, take them out of the oven. Take a food processor container. Take the skin off the eggplants – it should get off very easily – and place the flesh in the container.
Mince the garlic, add it to the eggplant flesh along 2 teaspoons lemon juice, the zaatar, Espelette pepper, salt and pepper.
Process the ingredients together for a few minutes until well mixed and combined. Check the seasoning and adjust is necessary. Remember that you can add more but cannot remove some, so I suggest you take some time to taste on the first time making it.
Serve in a nice bowl with a drizzle olive oil some more zaatar!
Step 3 – Cook the flatbreads
After you let the dough chill for an hour, take it out of the bowl and place on the kitchen surface sprinkled with some flour, cut into six pieces.
Take a piece and flatten it with your hands first and a rolling pin.
Heat up a pan over a medium heat and cook the dough about 3 minutes on each side. You should see that it blows, if the bubbles are too big, make a little whole to deflate it before flipping. Repeat with each piece and serve warm !