Baba Ghanoush (version XXV)

4 or 5 medium eggplants
2 to 4 cloves of garlic
salt and cracked black pepper as required
2 to 3 medium lemons, zest removed, juice
good quality olive oil as required
1/2 cup tahini paste
Optional ingredients
Chopped parsley, ground cumin, chopped coriander, chopped mint

Using a sharp knife, score the eggplants with four to five small incisions down the side of each. Insert a spike into one end of the plant to gently singe or burn it over a gas flame; this will give your baba ghanoush a lovely smoked flavour.

Once you've seared the eggplants, place them on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees F, until the flesh has become soft. Remove from the oven and carefully remove the flesh from the skins (you may need to let the plants cool down a little before doing this).

Once the flesh has been removed, place it, the garlic, salt, pepper, zest and juice of the lemons into a food processor and puree to a smooth paste.

Add the tahini, and puree again. If you wish, you can add the optional ingredients at this stage.

Serving Suggestion: To serve, toast some bread or make some garlic bruschetta. This also makes a wonderful addition to some grilled meats, spread on grilled chicken, or as a condiment with some curries, or a Moroccan targine.

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