Moroccan Aubergine Dip (Serves 10)
bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon of ras- el hanout Moroccan spice (a blend of 30 different spices; If unable to find, use a teaspoon each of tumeric, cardamom, cayenne pepper and paprika)
1 clove of garlic, peeled
splash of white wine
salt and pepper
- Dice the aubergine using a serrated knife. Put the cubes into a sieve or colander, sprinkle salt all over and let stand for 20 minutes – this will release the bitter juices (degorge).
- In the meantime, wash the tomatoes, cut out their core and slice an ‘X’ on top – this will make it easier to peel. Place them in boiling water for 10 seconds and then immediately transfer to cold water (concassé).
- Peel the tomatoes, cut them into halves, deseed and then dice.
- Dice the onion into roughly the same size as the tomatoes.
- Sauté the diced aubergine in a large frying pan with olive oil and half of the spice mix for about 5 minutes. Add a splash of white wine to deglaze the pan and then a bit of water. Cook until the aubergine has softened (approx. 5 minutes).
- Put the aubergine into a food processor and blend to a creamy consistency. Set aside.
- Make a paste with the garlic clove, salt and the side of a knife. Using the same frying pan, heat up some olive oil and the garlic paste for about 1 min.
- Add the diced onion, herbs and the rest of the spice mix. Saute for about 3 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and a splash of water. Cook together for another 3-5 minutes until it reaches a thick consistency and there is no more liquid left.
- Add the onion, herb, tomato and spice mixture to the puréed aubergine. Season with salt and pepper to taste, garnish with chopped parsley and olives and serve with toasted pita.
Roasted Red Pepper Dip (Serves 10)
3 red bell peppers
4 sprigs of thyme, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of paprika
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
- Roast the peppers directly on the flame (gas stove) or in the oven at 325 F/160 C for about 10 – 15 minutes if using an electric oven.
- Once the peppers are roasted, put them in a bowl and cover with saran wrap – this helps to soften the skin and makes them much easier to peel! Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Peel the peppers by hand, then cut them in half and remove the seeds – a bit messy, but don’t worry if they don’t completely peel or if there is still some char left on them – it adds additional flavour.
- Cut the peppers into strips, setting a few aside for garnish and put the rest in a food processor with the chopped thyme, cayenne pepper, paprika and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Blend to a chunky consistency.
- Season with salt and pepper, garnish with a few of the strips of roasted pepper and serve with pita chips.