This time of year is a treat, for so many reasons, but hugely because it’s the season for the produce that fills the pages of some of my favourite cookbooks (hello Mediterranean). Tomatoes, eggplants and peaches are pure perfection. My last recipe of this wild, wild year pays homage to a chef who is a never-ending source of inspiration for me, and one I’ve learned a lot from this year through cooking her recipes, Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune restaurant in NYC. This eggplant dish is a very similar take on her recipe in her cookbook Prune.
Char the eggplant until you think you’ve gone a little too far - you’re looking for a burned-looking skin. This makes for a silky, smokey flesh that when mixed with the glorious flavours of tahini, lemon juice and olive oil, you just feel yourself transported to the Italian cliffs. Serve it with grilled grilled brushed with olive oil and garlic, and perhaps crack a tin of sardines while you’re at it. I hope this dish brings as much joy to your summer months as it does for me.
2 cloves garlic, grates
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp tahini
Half juice of one lemon
Generous pinch of salt
Herbs to top - mint, parsley and dill are great
On a gas burner, or barbecue, turn the heat onto the highest setting. Place eggplant directly onto flame. Cook, turning every few minutes, until the skin appears charred. Take it a little further than you think you should.
Remove from heat and place in a large bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with cling wrap and let eggplant cool for 15 minutes. This allowed the flesh to come away from the skin.
Once cooled, keep any juices that have come out of the eggplant before peeling the skin away. Place eggplant flesh and remaining ingredients in a bowl together. Using a spoon, combine the ingredients, making sure not to mix too viciously to keep the flesh slightly chunky.
To serve, top with roughly chopped herbs and drizzle with olive oil.