Smoky eggplant with sautéed summer vegetables topped with pitta bread fries and a light tahini-yogurt sauce. Easily vegan.
Flame-roast the eggplants until charred and shrunken - about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, then peel the skin and finely chop the flesh. Add most of the parsley, a good squoosh of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of chopped raw garlic. Taste and season with salt if you like. Mix well and set aside.
For the pitta fries, heat the oven to 180C fan/200C/400F. Toss the pitta strips in 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, lay on your baking tray and bake in the oven for 15 minutes - or until crisp. Set aside.
Heat the remaining oil in the skillet and sauté the onion over a low-medium heat for five minutes, then add the remaining garlic and the zucchini. Increase the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is softened - about three minutes. Add the chopped chard. Stir the vegetables and pop on a lid (or use a baking tray to cover) to let the chard cook down and lose some of its moisture - about five minutes. Spoon or drain away excess liquid if you wish. I don't bother.
To "build" the Baba Ganoush Vegetable Skillet, sprinkle on the feta cheese if using, spoon over the eggplant mix (baba ganoush), top with pomegranate arils, pitta fries, mint and extra parsley and the tahini-yogurt sauce if using.
Serve at room temperature or slightly warm. This is a great light main dish. Perhaps serve with extra flatbreads and some hummus. Or have as a big side dish for a larger Middle Eastern or Mediterranean feast.
Stir together all of the ingredients until the tahini loses its thickness, adding salt and pepper if desired. If it seems at all stiff, add more lemon juice or a little warm water and stir gently (if vigorously it may stiffen up even more!). This should be as thick as heavy cream.
To make this recipe suitable for a vegan diet, use vegan soft cheese instead of the feta (or eliminate it altogether) and use non-dairy yogurt for the sauce.
This baba ganoush is very simple and tastes wonderful as is. Some of you may wish to add 2 tablespoons of loose tahini and maybe a little cumin.
Baba ganoush is lovely served with some of its texture intact, as instructed in this recipe. But you may wish to blend it with a hand/immersion blender to give a smooth, silky texture.
This recipe can be made up individually as baba ganoush, the courgette/chard mix, the sauce and the pitta fries, putting them together when required. Let the non-dairy elements come up to room temperature before serving.