“I smoke my eggplant for baba ganoush by scorching the outside directly on my gas burner” says Matthew Evans,” and then I finish baking them in the oven. If you can find fresh pomegranate, lucky you. Simply sprinkle some of the seeds over the top of this dish for an extra boost of colour and flavour.” Serve with grilled flatbread and lemon wedges as a snack or appetiser.
Skill level Mid
400 g haloumi, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses (see note)
½ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
8 mint leaves, roughly chopped
2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
flatbread and lemon wedges, to serve
1 kg (about 2 large) eggplants
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp tahini (see note)
1 tbsp Greek-style yoghurt
2 ½ tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Cooling time 15 minutes
To make the baba ganoush, using tongs, hold eggplants directly over a gas flame, turning, for 20 minutes or until skin is blackened all over and the inside is very soft. (Alternatively, lightly brush eggplants with oil, place on an panggangan tray in a preheated panggangan at 210°C and cook, turning halfway through cooking, for 20 minutes.)
Allow to cool, then peel off the skin and discard. (I find the best way is rubbing with kitchen paper, then scraping with a knife.) Blitz the flesh with the remaining ingredients in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 2 cups.
Rinse haloumi, then drain and pat dry. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until hot, then cook haloumi for 2 minutes each side or until well browned.
While it cooks, spread the baba ganoush over the base of a plate. Place haloumi on top. Whisk extra virgin olive oil with pomegranate molasses in a small bowl until combined. Drizzle over the haloumi and baba ganoush. Scatter over parsley, mint and pine nuts, and serve with flatbread and lemon wedges.
• Pomegranate molasses is available from delis and Middle Eastern food shops.
• Tahini is a sesame seed paste, available from health food shops and supermarkets.
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 10, pg36.
Photography by Alan Benson