If you've ever wondered why baba ganoush has that wonderful smoky flavor.....it's because the eggplant was on fire at one point. Not flaming mind you but charred over some heat source. Lining the area around the burner with foil will catch any juices that spatter when the skin bubbles and pops, making clean-up easier.
This takes about 15 minutes with vigilant turning--if you would prefer not to babysit your eggplant, there are directions for accomplishing this in a broiler. However, Ottolenghi warns people to thoroughly pierce their eggplant or it can EXPLODE in the oven. Sounds messy. Next time I will probably use the grill so my house doesn't smell like burned eggplant.
Post debridement, draining in colander. Try to scoop as much flesh out as possible, avoiding the frankly burned areas. You now have eggplant ready for the recipe (or baba ganoush).
Burnt Eggplant with tahini: from Plenty by Yottam Ottolenghi
1 large eggplant
1/3 cup tahini paste
1/4 cup water
2 tsp pomegranate molasses
1 TBS lemon juice
1 garlic clove crushed
3 TBS chopped parsley
salt and pepper
3 mini cucumbers
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes
seeds from 1/2 pomegranate (I omitted these)
a little olive oil for drizzling
Prepare eggplant as above. Chop the flesh roughly and put in a medium mixing bowl.
In a smaller bowl add tahini, water, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Adjust seasonings to your preference. The pomegranate molasses is TART!
Combine with mixture with the chopped eggplant and add the halved cherry tomatoes and chopped cucumbers.
Drizzle a little olive oil on top. Serve with lavosh or toasts.
Delicious, but very assertive flavors. The sort of thing you take of bite of and go, "Wow, that's almost too much." But there you are a minute or two later craving another bite. Seriously looking forward to cooking my way through this masterful book.