Middle-Eastern Aubergine Dip: a CardioKit recipe share

... a quick and easy sharing dish

This is the first recipe share by Mary Anne Fifield, Cardiologist’s Kitchen Project Manager.

Hummus is a Middle-Eastern dip which is incredibly popular here in the UK and this recipe is almost identical except that the chickpeas are swapped for aubergine. It’s a fabulous replacement for hummus, but even better enjoyed as an addition to a ‘mezze’ of delicious sharing dishes. This is what the ‘Cooking Cardiologist’ says on this;

‘The other thing we want to highlight are the health effects of ‘small plate’ eating. This has become very popular and is observed in multiple cultures including Dim-Sum (China), Mezze (Middle-East) and Tapas (Spain). The advantage of small plate eating is that you diversify your meal, you tend to eat slower (not shovelling from one plate piled high) and it really highlights the split of your meal between carbs, veg, protein etc. It’s also a very enjoyable way to eat,  tasting lots of different things  and you may well realise you are getting full and satisfied before you overeat’.

I am well-rehearsed in Middle-Eastern cooking and I thoroughly enjoyed creating this recipe. Use the ingredient list and method as a guide only, as all the fun is in the experimentation. Keep tasting and adding the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt and stop when your taste buds are satisfied. There is something incredibly refreshing about the combination, which opens up your senses and appetite! This makes it a great starter, just eat it with raw veggies rather than a pitta bread.

The main component of tahini is nuts – it is basically a sesame seed paste, so avoid if you or your guests have a nut allergy. I added less to mine, as I primarily love the aubergine taste. As evidenced by my photo, I have overdone the chopped parsley. Now, I love parsley and Cardiologist’s Kitchen recommends it too, but I was opting for more parsley to counteract the raw garlic in this dish – turns out I may have been misled by confusing media misinformation as this is not an evidence-based fact! It’s a good thing we’re here to counteract it, but in this case I’m ‘sorry, not sorry’ as parsley is one of our ‘ingredients for a healthy life’ … as are aubergines, by the way.

 

2 medium aubergines

¼ cup tahini well-stirred, 1 – 2 tablespoons water if it is still too thick after stirring

1 lemon

2 cloves garlic, made into a paste

salt

parsley, chopped (save a sprig or two to garnish)

sumac/toasted pine nuts/pomegranate seeds – optional

 

 

  1. Wash the aubergines. Dry them and prick deeply all over with a fork.
  2. Roast in a hot oven until very soft and limp, for 30 – 40 minutes.
  3. Rest the aubergines for 10 minutes – a pool of liquid will form below them, and you can discard this.
  4. In a bowl, put tahini and juice from the lemon. Mix together until creamy and pale. If the mixture is too thick, you can thin it with a little water.
  5. Cut each eggplant with a long stroke, from top to bottom, then scoop out the creamy flesh from the skin, into a bowl.  Mash it gently with a fork (or a potato masher if you prefer).
  6. Add in your tahini sauce a tablespoon at a time, until it reaches the right consistency – keep tasting it as you stir. If you have extra tahini-lemon sauce, you can freeze it or reserve it for another use – like home-made hummous!
  7. Add the salt to season and the crushed garlic.
  8. Stir in some chopped parsley, if you like.  Keep tasting to see if you think it’s perfect – add another squeeze of lemon juice or sprinkle of salt to make it just right.
  9. Serve in a dish with a tiny sprinkling of extra virgin olive oil and some parsley sprigs to garnish.
  10. If you have them handy, add a sprinkle of sumac/toasted pine nuts/pomegranate seeds.

I sprinkled on some sumac and added a bowl of olives. Enjoy with a warm pitta bread and/or chopped carrots/cucumber/celery or whatever raw veggies are in season – delicious!

 

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