Aubergine is one of the main dishes of Mediterranean cuisine I suppose, but mainly an Ottoman heritage… It is native to India and had a long journey all around the world and grows pretty much everywhere. Once I read on a book that there are 100 different ways of cooking aubergine in Ottoman cuisine. I am not sure I can make it that much but I will try to add new ones as I cook.
Funny enough, it is rich in nicotine, but it does not make you a passive smoker, so no worries! But I vividly remember when I quit smoking I adored aubergine…(Quit fags have aubergine instead?)
This recipe is particularly nice in summer, when you have picnics. We can call it `picnic aubergine`, as it is a very nice meze, you can have it like hommus, with some pitta bread or any bread really or as a side dish to your meat, sausages, or almost as a main course for piscaterians like myself.
Right let`s begin then:
What do I need to buy?
2 big aubergines
half a pack of feta cheese (if you don`t have enough you can replace it with some yoghurt)
3 – 4 cloves of crushed garlic
dill (optional could use parsley as well or may be coriander? It is all up to your taste)
juice of 1 lemon
How do I cook it?
1. The best way to cook this is to have hot embers of course or a fireplace but if not, you can grill the aubergines till the skin turns dark and literally burns. But score through the skin a few lines so that the inside will cook better. (I would say grill about 20 – 25 minutes, but check occasionally as you might make the smoke alarm go off like mine!)
2. Remove the skins, don`t worry about little bits of leftover skins as they give nice smoked taste.
3. Put the flesh in a bowl, then add the crumbled feta, crushed garlic, more than half of lemon juice, a little bit of olive oil and half a spoonful of yoghurt and stir them well. Feta should become almost invisible, you can mash them if it is easier.
4. Add some chopped dill or parsley, have a taste if it is not lemony enough add more.
5. Serve on a flat plate topped with dill or parsley and possibly black olives.