Aubergine with Black Garlic

By Yotam Ottolenghi Yotam Ottolenghi From the book Plenty More
Aubergine with Black Garlic

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.

For how many? Serves four

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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