For the last couple of years, black garlic has been the thing – slowly fermented until black, the garlic has the taste of parmesan, tamarind and molasses It is gorgeous. Mostly mashed or pureed into other dishes, it is quite versatile, if not an expensive addition to all sorts of dishes including soups, simmered dishes and dressings. Or just spread on some toast.
Ottolenghi took a while to warm to black garlic, but several recipes feature in his books – one absolutely gorgeous one in Nopi, and this one – both with eggplants that have been roasted. In this recipe, from Plenty More, the roasted eggplant slices are drizzled with a yoghurt-black garlic sauce, which is then topped with crispy chilli rings and garlic slices, before being liberally sprinkled with herbs. It is delicious. Of course.
We are cooking our way through Plenty More as our project for the year. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.
Don’t have any black garlic? See the Nopi post for substitutions that work very well.
It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. As mentioned, we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian or Telegraph columns.
Similar dishes include Roasted Eggplant with Saffron Yoghurt, Eggplant in Spicy Tomato Sauce, Roasted Eggplant with Chickpeas and Herb Yoghurt, Roasted Eggplant with a Garlic Sauce, Smoky Roasted Eggplant in Yoghurt, and Smoky Eggplant and Asparagus.
Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.
Roasted Aubergine with Black Garlic Yoghurt Sauce
3 medium aubergines, sliced into 1.5cm rounds (about 900g)
200ml olive oil
8 large or 16 small black garlic cloves (approx. 35g)
200g Greek or Desi (Indian) yoghurt
1.5 tspn lemon juice
7 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 red chillies, sliced on the diagonal into 3mm rounds
5g dill leaves
5g basil leaves
5g tarragon leaves
Salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 250C.
Place the aubergine in a large bowl with 60ml of the olive oil, a sprinkling of sea salt and a good grind of black pepper.
Mix well and spread out on 2 large baking trays lined with greaseproof paper. Roast in the oven until golden-brown and completely soft – about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Place the black garlic cloves in the small bowl of a food processor with a third of a teaspoon of salt, 2 tablespoons of oil, 2 tablespoons of yoghurt and the lemon juice. Blitz for a minute, to form a rough paste, and then transfer to a medium bowl. Mix through the rest of the yoghurt and keep in the fridge until needed.
Heat the remaining 110ml of oil in a small saucepan on a high heat. Add the garlic and chilli slices, reduce the heat to medium and fry for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the garlic is golden-brown and the chilli is crispy. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the garlic and chilli on to a kitchen paper-lined plate.
Arrange the aubergine slices, overlapping, on a platter. Spoon the yoghurt sauce on top, sprinkle over the chilli and garlic and finish with the herbs