For the last five or six years, my parents’ allotment has provided the ingredients (and conversation) for many a long and lazy lunch. When I visit them in Suffolk, I now make sure I take an extra tote bag to fill with a homegrown vegetable food parcel, straight out of the ground.
Last year they had a glut of tomatoes, so tomato soup and tomato sauce reigned supreme. Previous years have had me thinking of 101 ways to cook with courgettes, and their beetroot is still the talk of one of my friends, after we sliced, roasted and grated our way through the beets patch, while house sitting one weekend.
On a recent visit to see my parents, I left armed with an array of freshly pulled and plucked aubergines, beetroot, courgette and a snail (which I carefully re-homed).
Since it’s the season for alfresco dining, and dips are the perfect accompaniment for such an occasion, I thought I’d share one of my favourites. Delicious served with crudities or a crisp cracker.
Baba ganoush – serves 4
3 aubergines – whole with skin on
2-3 garlic cloves,
2 tbsp tahini
small handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
small handful of pomegranate seeds
Pre-heat oven to 200°, prick the aubergines all over with a fork and roast in the oven for 40-45mins. This can also be done on a BBQ for 10-15mins, turning throughout, until the skin in charred and the centre soft.
Leave the aubergines cool and in the meantime crush the garlic with a teaspoon of salt into a paste, and juice the lemon.
Once the aubergines are cooled, scrape out the flesh into a food processor and pulse to combine with the garlic paste, lemon juice, tahini and a good glug of olive oil.
Season with paper to taste, and serve in a bowl with a sprinkling of parsley and pomegranate.