The summer months in France are blessed with so many Bank Holidays, which is lucky since there is so much to do - with people leaving, others visiting, lots of work and trying to stay (reasonably) exercised and well-slept, there is nothing better than finding time to spend a day cooking and eating with friends. Cooking is the ultimate down time for me, and if you can follow it with a long meal with three of your favourite people then it definitely makes up for getting up early to run and write essays!
We had lots of different salad dishes, but this dip was the winner by a mile - so popular that the girls insisted I make it for them again a few days later. It is deliciously creamy with a rich flavour from the roasted garlic, but lightened by the torn parsley and lots of fresh lemon juice.
Aubergine is a dream come true for vegetarians - thanks to its texture it gives dishes substance without making them too heavy, and its soft roasted flesh lends itself amazingly to being blended into a smooth dip. Nutritionally, it is an excellent source of dietary fibre and a good source of certain B vitamins and numerous minerals, but its real star is nasunin - a super antioxidant which rids the body of free-radicals and filters out excess iron (which is needed for many bodily functions, but in too large quantities can cause problems). Sesame seeds (used as tahini here) are packed full of fantastic plant protein and calcium, and garlic has been used medicinally for hundreds of years thanks to its anti-bacterial properties. Factor in that extra virgin olive oïl contains anti-inflammatory agents and lots of beautifying vitmain E and babaganoush turns out to be a winning combination of wholesome and natural ingredients.
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3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp tahini
Juice of half a lemon
Pinch of sea salt
Small handful of parsley
Extra Virgin olive oïl (about 1 cup but depends how thick you want it)
Roughly chop the aubergine and garlic, then bake them in a roasting dish with a drizzle of olive oïl at 180°C for 15-20, or until soft.
Once the aubergine has cooled, blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
Serve with salads, as a dip with pitta and veg or spread on toast.