Recipe: Smoky Eggplant Dip from The Natural Cook by Matt Stone »
The ultimate dip with a deep, smoky flavour, with home-made yoghurt
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The Natural Cook – Maximum Taste, Zero Waste by Matt Stone is all about the new food revolution. It's being kind to the planet, giving your body good food and nourishing your soul at the same time.
With summer entertaining fast approaching, this could be the next delicious dip you become renowned for!
"With its deep, smoky flavour, this is the ultimate dip for me. It’s best to cook the eggplants on a wood fire, but they also come up great cooked on the stovetop, straight on the flame (a word to the wise: keep the smoke away from the fire alarm). It’s perfect with Barbecue Bread (see page 26) but also awesome with roasted lamb, oily fish or in a sandwich."
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
- 2 medium-sized eggplants (aubergines)
- 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- olive oil, for dressing
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 2 pinches of allspice
- Yoghurt (see recipe from book below) and sumac, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Make sure the eggplants are at room temperature and not cold from the fridge so they cook more evenly. Cook the eggplants over an open flame. You want them to char and smoke (basically burn the hell out of ’em). Cook them until they’re tender but still holding their shape, then transfer to a bowl and cover. Try and catch a bit of the smoke in with the eggplants if you can. They’ll steam and smoke for a bit to finish the cooking. Leave to cool.
Dress the garlic cloves in olive oil and a pinch of salt. Roast in a small ovenproof frying pan in the oven for 10 minutes. If you’re lucky enough to have a wood-fired barbecue going, you could throw a whole bulb of garlic into the ashes instead and let it cook slowly. When ready, peel off the 4 cloves needed for this dish.
Cut the tops off the eggplants and discard. Chop the eggplants into pieces and throw them into a blender, blistered skin and all. Blend to a fine purée. Squeeze the garlic cloves from their skins, and add them to the blender. Add the tahini, lemon juice, honey and allspice. Give everything a whizz and season with salt.
Serve with a scoop of yoghurt in the middle and a sprinkle of sumac.
Dig in. Like I said, it’s the ultimate dip.
Fresh yoghurt is so easy to make and much cheaper than buying it from the shops. I like to make it myself because I can choose where the milk has come from and I end up with plenty of whey left over to use in desserts and sauces. You just need a small amount of yoghurt to start off with to make a much larger batch.
I like to use raw milk for this as it’s much higher in nutrients and the flavour is better. The cooking process of the milk will make it completely safe. If you can’t get raw milk or if you’re not comfortable using it, biodynamic or organic milk is fine. Be sure to save at least 130g (½ cup / 4½ oz) of the yoghurt to start your next batch.
Ingredients (makes about 2kg or 4lb 8oz)
- 2 litres (70 floz/8 cups) best quality full-cream (whole) milk
- 130 g (½ cup / 4½ oz) full-fat plain yoghurt
Pour the milk into a heavy-based saucepan and place it over medium heat. Slowly bring the milk to the boil and just before it starts to bubble like crazy, turn it down to a simmer. It’s perfect if you get slight bubbles every now and then and a steady stream of steam.
Stir often with a wooden spoon, making sure the milk skin doesn’t catch on the side of the pan. If it’s starting to catch, place a metal tray on the burner and put the pan on it to soften the heat.
Leave to reduce slightly for about 30 minutes. Turn off and leave to cool to about 35-40°C (95-105°F).
This recipe is from The Natural Cook – Maximum Taste, Zero Waste by Matt Stone and is reproduced with the kind permission of the publisher, Murdoch Books (Sydney, NSW; Aug 2016; HC, 240 pp). It retails in Australia for RRP A$39.95. The book is available nationally and also direct from the publisher here »
You can also purchase The Natural Cook online via Booko here »
See links below for further recipes from this book.
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