Aubergine puree with garlic and yogurt

One day I am going to sit myself down and write a book of recipes of all the things I cook from the vegetables and fruit I buy from the grocers on Oxton Road. There will be a large section on tomatoes and what to do with the boxes they sell for £2.99. Another section will be given over the bags on the 50p shelf, past their best, but now a bargain and difficult to resist. But the largest part of the book will be devoted to the aubergine, the various different ways of cooking it, how to avoid it soaking up too much olive oil (soaking in milk I read the other day) and the endless variety of recipes that are available from the Middle East.

One of my favourite is a puree made with garlic and yogurt. One way or other I have been doing this for 17 years – the first time I did it was for the party I had for my 30th birthday. Most recently I did it last weekend on Saturday night when a large dollop of the puree was placed in the middle of a bowl of tomato soup.

So – roast 3 aubergines. You are best doing this over a barbeque. But if it not lit they will do just as well under a hot grill. Remember to prick them otherwise they may burst. Don’t be timid with the heat. The skin should be charred. Turn them every so often until they feel soft and giving to the press of your fingers. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Whilst they are cooling take a large bowl and crush some cloves of garlic with sea salt in the bottom of the bowl. I use a wooden pestle to do this. The number of cloves will depend on how aggressive you like your garlic.

Take each aubergine and slit the skin with a knife. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh adding this to the bowl with the garlic. Stir the aubergine into the garlic – again using the wooden pestle to form a smooth puree. Add about one third of a tub of Total Greek Yogurt (500gr) and a good glug of olive oil. Stir until all well amalgamated. Check for seasoning and if necessary add salt and pepper. It is now ready to eat.

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