Aubergine with Black Garlic

Reinvent the aubergine with this stunning side dish. Created by Yotam Ottolenghi, this recipe combines eggplant with black garlic, lemon, dill and tarragon.

Introduction

Slices of roast aubergine have been through many incarnations and have been a constant feature on the Ottolenghi menu since we first set up shop in 2002. Every now and then a new kid on the block will appear to shake up the old-timers and our latest bright young thing is this black garlic sauce. I’d love black garlic to be more widely available: its taste is reminiscent of molasses and tamarind and it gives an unexpected depth of flavour to dishes. You can simply slice a few thin slivers and add these to crunchy salads or creamy risottos – it’s mellow enough not to dominate – or use it in sauces, dips and purées, as here, to enliven (and challenge) old favourites.

Serves four
Easy

Ingredients

3 medium aubergines, sliced widthways into 1.5cm rounds (900g)
200ml olive oil
8 large or 16 small black garlic cloves (35g)
200g Greek yoghurt
1½ tsp lemon juice
7 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced (30g)
3 red chillies, sliced on the diagonal into 3mm rounds
5g dill leaves
5g tarragon leaves
salt and black pepper

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 250ºC/230ºC Fan/Gas Mark 9 (or to its highest setting).

Place the aubergine rounds in a large bowl with 60ml of the olive oil, ½teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper. Mix well and spread out on 2 large baking trays lined with greaseproof paper. Roast in the oven until golden-brown and completely soft – about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Place the black garlic cloves in the small bowl of a food processor with 1/3 teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of oil, 2 tablespoons of yoghurt and the lemon juice. Blitz for a minute, to form a rough paste, and then transfer to a medium bowl. Mix through the rest of the yoghurt and keep in the fridge until needed.

Heat the remaining 110ml of oil in a small saucepan on a high heat. Add the garlic and chilli slices, reduce the heat to medium and fry for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the garlic is golden-brown and the chilli is crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the garlic and chilli on to a kitchen paper-lined plate.

Arrange the aubergine slices, overlapping, on a platter. Spoon the yoghurt sauce on top, sprinkle over the chilli and garlic and finish with the herbs.

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