This was meant to be Baba Ganoush…
I’ve had a Baba Ganoush craving ever since reading a recent magazine feature about Yottam Ottolenghi’s new cookbook Jerusalem – everything in it sounds so fresh and delicious and I am currently a huge fan of Middle Eastern flavours. The book is most definitely on my wish list, along with a visit to one of his restaurants, and the spice Sumac to recreate some recipes at home (which I can’t find anywhere).
How can Baba Ganoush accidentally turn into a tomato dip? I stood in the grocery store, one night late after work fully intending to buy an aubergine to satisfy my craving, but on realising that I was starving, and roasting the aubergine would take more time than I could bear to wait, I Instead picked up a courgette and some pointed red peppers. Perhaps I could make some sort of instant dip out of them since I’ve made a sort of houmous out of courgette before?
Sometimes my best creations come out of moments like these – starting to cook when I have no idea what end product I’m aiming for. The turn of events went something like …. Sling the peppers onto my griddle pan with a good slosh of olive oil, whilst simultaneously blending the hell out of the courgette with some more olive of, heaps of garlic and tahini. When peppers sufficiently blistered wang into the blender, taste. Missing something. Grab a handful of basil from my window sill. Blend. Taste. Still missing something. Salt – I forgot the salt. Blend. Taste. Sun-dried tomatoes in the cupboard. Blend. Taste. Yep – that’s it, it finally works. Stop. Eat.
I served it with a chestnut flatbread which was basically some chestnut flour mixed into a dough with olive oil, water and rosemary and cooked in a frying pan like a pancake. Not a work of art, but entirely satisfied my craving for flatbread and dip. Not quite the flavour palate of Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem – I’ve gone a bit Italian again, but I can save that experiement for another day.
- 2 red pointed peppers
- 1 courgette raw
- 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 T tahini
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- handful of fresh Basil leaves
- 6 sun-dried tomatoes
- Himalayan salt
- Black pepper
- Remove the stalks from the peppers and chargrill on a griddle pan until they blister. If you have more time it would be just as easy to roast these in the oven.
- Meanwhile blend the courgette with the olive oil till it turns to pulp.
- Add the tahini, garlic, handful of fresh basil leaves, the char-grilled pepper sun-dried tomatoes and blend till you reach the desired consistency. Taste and and salt and pepper to suit, before a final quick whizz.
The dip will keep a few days in an airtight container, but because of the water content of the courgette, which will seep out over time it is best eaten straight away.