Aubergine with Black Garlic yoghurt dressing
Black garlic is one of those magical ingredients that transforms anything you cook or serve it with, as well as being delicious eaten solo as a healthy snack. Slowly heat-aged under carefully controlled conditions, Black Garlic cloves soften and caramelise with time, resulting in a sweet, mild flavour with none of white garlic's bite, and a sticky, unctuous texture that's incredibly moreish. You can chop the cloves to add to dishes, or blitz them to incorporate into sauces, soups and casseroles. Here, we've followed chef Yotam Ottolenghi's cue of pairing it with aubergines, in an easy-to-make yoghurt dressing. This platter makes a fabulous addition to a mezze spread, or a mouth-watering vegetarian dish, served alongside an Isle of Wight tomato and bulgur wheat salad.
200ml, extra virgin olive oil
200g Greek yoghurt
1.5 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
7 IOW garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thinly
3 red chillies, de-seeded and sliced thinly (approx 3mm in width)
5g each of fresh dill, basil and tarragon
1.Preheat the oven to 240C
2.Cut the aubergines into slices around 1.5cm thick, then tip them into a large bowl and season with 1.5 teaspoons of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Add 60ml of olive oil and mix well so that each slice is well seasoned. Lay the oiled slices onto a baking tray and pop into the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the aubergine is soft and starting to colour. It's worth checking halfway through the cooking time, and turning the slices over, so that they are evenly browned.
3.While the aubergines are roasting, make the black garlic yoghurt dressing: put the black garlic cloves into a small food processor/mixer and add the lemon juice, along with 1/4 teaspoon of salt, two tablespoons of olive oil and two tablespoons of the yoghurt. Whizz together to form a smooth mixture, and transfer to a bowl, along with the remaining yoghurt. Combine well, and thin with a little more lemon juice if you need to make the dressing more pourable.
4.Heat 100ml olive oil in a pan, and add the thinly sliced white garlic cloves and red chillies. Let the spices fry for about five minutes until starting to crisp - but don't let the garlic burn! Scoop out the garlic and chillies with a slotted spoon, and keep the flavoured oil for another recipe (let it cool, then pour into a sterilised bottle or jug for cooking with later).
5.Chop the fresh herbs finely.
6.To arrange the dish, lay the cooked and cooled aubergine slices on a platter, and pour the black garlic yoghurt over each. Scatter the sliced garlic and chillies over the yoghurt and garnish with herbs.