I didn’t intend to be absent from the blog for so long, I had planned for a mere three weeks break but it turned out to be an ongoing journey of self- (re)discovery, and somehow I didn’t want it to stop. During the break, I returned to my drawing board, literally, and my sketch book, doing sketches of all kinds; things that surround me, people who passing by, or even just ideas in my head. And I realised that I have forgotten how much I enjoyed drawing when I was growing up. I also spent a lot of the time reading novels and writing short stories, and I met some amazing people through a fiction writing class. I hope I can share some of the stories with you soon. I haven’t stopped cooking though, as you know if you are following my Instagram account, and can’t wait to share the recipes that I have created during the break. All in all, it has been a relax and inspiring time for me and I am glad that I had made this decision. I thank YOU sincerely, the followers who have been supporting me since the beginning as well as those many who decided to join my journey even during my absent, for your incredible patient awaiting for my return. I am most grateful.
We, my family and I, have spent the first week of our new year in a warm, beautiful island – Tenerife, a brief escape from the bitter cold winter in Berlin. Although short, it was one of the most inspiring holidays I have had. I have written a separate post here if you want to know more.
I intended to start writing here again right after our holiday, but I caught an everlasting cold that kept me in bed most of the time for a week. But finally I have found peace and regained my energy to finish this post.
Let talk about the recipe I would like to share with you this week: baba ganoush, it is one of those dishes that I have known and eaten for years, but never really made it myself for some reasons. Then on the eve of new year, I decided to give it a go since I had a sad looking aubergine lurking in the fridge. I found a smoky baba ganoush recipe from Jamie Oliver’s website and I knew it would be a good one (as nearly all of the other Oliver’s recipes), and it turned out to be a big hit, even my husband isn’t really keen on aubergine was impressed by the taste.
But the idea of sharing this Baba Ganoush with Pink Peppercorns recipe as my first post after a long break was not intentional. I was thinking of making something which is more Tenerife inspired, but when I unpacked the little bag of pink peppercorns from my luggage (these peppercorns were collected under a beautiful peppercorn tree in our hotel ‘secret garden’ while feeling like Mary Lennox), I realised I had to put them into good use. These pink peppercorns have a beautiful sweetness with a slight hint of licorice taste and a subtle flora tone. So I thought, its flavour would compliment perfectly with the smokiness of the aubergine. And I was right about that. But just a few berries will do the trick, too many of them will overpower the entire dish.
Baba Ganoush with Pink Peppercorns
Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s recipe on jamieoliver.com
- 2 large aubergine, halved lengthwise
- Olive oil for roasting
- 1 tbsp. tahini
- Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus more to taste
- 1/2 tsp. smoked garlic powder
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Smoked sweet paprika (for garnish)
- 5 pink peppercorns, crushed with pestle and mortar
- pitta bread
- tortilla chips
- raw vegetable sticks
- use as a spread for wraps
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Place aubergine on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and drizzle them generously with olive oil. Place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until aubergine is golden brown and the flesh is juicy and soft. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
Scope out the flesh of the aubergine into a mixing bowl, and discard the skin. Add the rest of the ingredients apart from smoked paprika and pink peppercorns. Use a handheld blender (or you can use food processor or blender) to puree the mixture until you get a nice thick dip. Taste and season when necessary.
Transfer the content into a serving bowl and sprinkle the smoked paprika and crushed pink peppercorns. Finally drizzle a little olive oil on top. Serve immediately.
This dip can be made a couple of days ahead, but of course it tastes great freshly made or even better after a few hours rest.