I decided to make the eggplant, mint and yoghurt dip from Nigella Lawson's Feast, I've made this a few times now over the years and it's always a winner. Feast was also one of the first cookbooks I ever bought myself and is full of splattered pages and bookmarked recipes, as a good cookbook should be.
I roasted the eggplants until tender but blackened on the outside and picked some 'mint gone wild' from our little balcony then slowly fried an onion and lots of garlic in olive oil until soft. It's a perfect recipe to potter around the kitchen and whip together something like say banana bread while you wait for everything to cool...
The dip is comforting yet fresh and best served with some crostini or toasted pita bread but I didn't have either so served it with crackers (which Tristan ended up leaving on the kitchen counter) and carrot sticks to counteract the chocolates we've all eaten.
Can't say my craving to bake has been satisfied or my craving to eat home-made sweet treats but my jeans are certainly happier not having to fit in a donut or two after everything else I consumed over the weekend.
Fingers crossed my baking ideas this weekend go to plan.
eggplant, mint & yoghurt diprecipe adapted from Feast by Nigella Lawson
2 medium to small eggplants
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 small onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
pinch saffron threads
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
3/4 cup thick greek yoghurt
2 tablespoons pinenuts, toasted
salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to 220C/400F and prick the eggplants with a fork all over.
- Place on a tray and roast for about 45 minutes to an hour, or until the insides have a soft squishy texture and the skin slightly darkened. Let them cool enough to handle, the scoop the insides out into a sieve to drain.
- While the eggplant flesh is draining, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over low heat and fry the onion and garlic until soft and almost golden, about 10 minutes. Add the eggplant flesh to the onions and cook for about 4 minutes, breaking up any bits that need it. Take off the heat and season with salt and pepper and allow to cool completely.
- Soak the saffron threads into 2 tablespoons of just boiled water and let sit so the water turns a vibrant yellow orange colour.
- Once the eggplant is cooled, mix in the greek yoghurt, saffron water, one tablespoon chopped fresh mint and another good pinch of salt and pepper.
- To serve, sprinkle over the remaining fresh mint, pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil.