The characteristic smoky flavour of this dip is produced by charring the skin of the aubergine. The skin is rendered unusable but the char beautifully perfumes the flesh of the vegetable. This process can be done under the grill of an oven or charred over an open flame or a barbecue.
3 large aubergines
3 cloves of garlic
50ml extra virgin olive oil
Lemon juice and salt to taste
1. Preheat the overhead grill of an oven. Pierce the aubergine repeatedly with a fork and place on a baking tray lined with foil.
2. Place the tray directly under the grill and cook until charred, roughly 15 minutes. Rotate the aubergines and char for a further 15 minutes.
3. Grind the garlic in a pestle & mortar with a pinch of salt to create a paste. Remove the garlic paste and combine with the tahini and juice of a lemon.
4. Once charred and tender, remove the aubergines and cut in half lengthways.
5. Once cool enough to handle, spoon out the flesh and place into a mixing bowl. If you prefer a thicker consistency, drain into a mixing bowl using a strainer lined with a cloth.
6. Add the tahini and garlic paste into the mixing bowl with a generous pinch of salt. Mix the aubergine while streaming in the extra virgin olive oil.
7. Taste and correct seasoning as needed with salt, lemon juice or tahini.
8. Serve with a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil as well as minced herbs, ground spices or pomegranate seeds.