My parents recently installed a beautiful new kitchen in their house so there was an impetus to cook a great dinner for Christmas. Instead of the typical roast dinner, we decided to cook an international cuisine and after some discussion, settled on Mediterranean.
We were fortunate to come across a Gordon Ramsay tv special that included a perfect recipe this theme:
2 medium eggplant
2 garlic cloves, peeled and cut into halves
2 tbsp rock salt
Few sprigs of thyme and rosemary
Olive oil, to drizzle
150ml sour cream
Freshly ground black pepper
Small bunch of cilantro, leaves chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slice the eggplant in two lengthways, then score the flesh with the tip of your knife in a criss-cross pattern. Rub the garlic halves over the scored sides of the eggplant and stud two halves with rosemary leaves and the other two halves with sprigs of thyme.
2. Drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Sandwich a rosemary-studded and a thyme-studded half together, with the garlic halves, and wrap tightly in foil to resemble a tootsie roll. Repeat with the other two halves. Place on a roasting tray and bake for 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
3 Remove the foil from the eggplant , discard the herbs and scrape the flesh and garlic on to a chopping board. (Use two spoons when you’re doing this as the aubergines will still be steaming hot). Chop to a coarse paste.
4 Heat a saucepan with a little olive oil and add the eggplant paste. Cook over high heat for about 30 seconds, stirring frequently, until the juices have evaporated and the pulp is thick. This will also help to intensify the flavour of the eggplant.
5 Stir in the cilantro and sour cream and season to taste. Add a squeeze of lemon, spoon into a dipping bowl.
We served it along side toasted baguette for a delicious appetizer! This really turned out beautifully with a very interesting flavor.