The smoky flavour of aubergines is one of those gastronomic delights you won’t forget when you taste delicious middle eastern dishes like baba ganoush and moutabel. As for adding white chocolate, the inspiration came about when I stumbled across this white chocolate baba ganoush recipe. White chocolate and aubergine was not something I had tried before and as I was getting together with friends, thought I would bring my dish along and reveal the mystery ingredient after everyone had tasted it.
The white chocolate adds a pleasing creamy sweetness to this smoky dish and my tasters gave the dip their seal of approval. No one guessed the mystery ingredient ( I wouldn’t have either) but the sweetness was noted. Experiment with the amount of white chocolate in this recipe and find a balance that suits your taste. Next time I might try Saveur’s recipe which includes cumin and paprika.
Also, I like a bit of texture when making this dish and only blend half the aubergine with the other ingredients when processing and mix in the remaining half. If you want a completely smooth dip add all the aubergine when processing. And if adding white chocolate is not your thing, then omit it completely from the recipe and replace with a spoonful or two of natural yoghurt. Just thought I would share something a little different that you might like to try.
Smoky Aubergine Dip with White Chocolate
2 medium aubergines
3 large garlic cloves, unpeeled or use roasted garlic from the freezer
50g good quality white chocolate, melted
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons tahini
sea salt, to taste
extra-virgin or olive oil, to drizzle
How to make:
Heat the oven grill to high. Using a cake tester or cocktail stick, prick the aubergines all over. Place aubergine and garlic on a lightly greased foil-lined baking tray. Cook the garlic for about 15 minutes, watch carefully so as not to burn. Remove garlic when done, peel when cool.
Cook aubergines until skin is blackened, charred and shrunken, this may take around 45 minutes depending on size. During cooking, turn the aubergines around so the skin blackens evenly. When done transfer aubergines to a plate. When cool enough to handle, split the aubergine and scoop out the flesh and place it into a colander (sitting over a bowl) to drain off any liquid. Leave for about 30 minutes.
Place half the aubergine, garlic, melted chocolate, lemon juice and tahini into a food processor, process until smooth. Transfer contents to a bowl and mix in the remaining half of aubergine. Season to taste with sea salt. Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle over some olive oil. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and parsley. Best served at room temperature with toasted or fresh pita bread. Makes about 1 cup.
Note: You can easily double this recipe.