Friday, 9 May 2014

Saffron Aubergine & Yoghurt Dip (Borani-e Bademjan)

If you were to die tomorrow, to be hung or shot or electrocuted on a chair, what would you ask for today as your last meal?  I've thought this through, and I can tell you with great confidence that I would just love a meze/tapas/antipasti feast.  Just dips, cured meats, cold cuts, cheeses, pates, pickles, excellent bread, excellent olive oil and a bottle of red wine.  Left to myself eating with my hands outdoors on the grass as a picnic (f they'd allow me).  I don't like it when people ask me what my favorite meal is, that I find difficult to answer, but this would undoubtedly be my last meal.
 So I said in my last post that there will be a series of saffron recipes, and here is #2.  This recipe is directly from Saveur, and it's kiiiind of like a baba ganoush, but no tahini, and it's with yoghurt.  Plus some caramelized onions and garlic, chopped onions and saffron.  I know, it's like baba ganoush with a royal makeover.   I made this last night, photographed it this morning and so ate it as part of my breakfast along with some pita.  Good stuff, the taste still lingers in my mouth.

makes 2 cups
Recipe from Saveur
2 large aubergines
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, plus ½ small onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced, plus 1 clove, thinly sliced
½ cup Greek yogurt
¼ tsp. crushed saffron, soaked in 1 tbsp warm water
½ cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 200C. Place aubergines on a foil-lined baking sheet, and prick all over with a fork. Bake, rotating, until skin is charred and flesh is very soft, about 1 hour; let cool. Scoop out flesh, transfer to a colander, and drain for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat ¼ cup oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the medium onion; cook until browned, about 15 minutes. Add aubergines and minced garlic; cook, mashing, until liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; transfer to a bowl. Add yogurt, salt, and pepper; stir until smooth. Cool.

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add remaining onion; cook until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; set aside. Wipe skillet clean and return to heat with remaining oil. Add sliced garlic; cook until lightly browned and crisp, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic chips to paper towels to drain; set aside. Transfer eggplant mixture to a bowl and drizzle with saffron; garnish with caramelized onions, garlic chips, and walnuts.

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