A vibrant healthy dish from Yotam Ottolenghi’s new book Plenty More. Eggplant is roasted to golden brown perfection and topped with a black garlic yogurt sauce and fresh herbs (dill, basil and tarragon). Black garlic tastes a bit like molasses with a hint of balsamic vinegar, and brings depth and flavor to this SUPER easy dish. Have you tried it yet?
I finally met a garlic clove I….. L.O.V.E!
It doesn’t smell or have an after taste (or give you “garlic breath”). It tastes like rich, sweet molasses with hints of balsamic vinegar , it’s easy to peel and has a soft chewy consistency similar to dried fruit. On top of all of that, it’s really healthy and has twice as many antioxidants as regular raw garlic. What is it? Black garlic! Have you tried it yet?
Black garlic was developed in Korea and is produced by “fermenting” whole bulbs of fresh garlic in a humidity-controlled environment for 30 days (maintaining temperatures about 140-170 F). No additive, no preservatives, just the garlic. After the 30 days in the heat they are left to oxidize in a clean room for 45 days. This process causes the garlic cloves to turn a deep dark black color and develop a soft chewy texture.
Black garlic is the star of this recipe developed by Yotam Ottelenghi in his new book Plenty More. Plenty More is a sequel to Plenty (Chronicle Books, 2011) which was crowned “vegetarian cookbook of the decade” by the Washington Post. I’m a huge Ottelenghi fan! His cookbooks are like works of art. The photos are beautiful and the recipes are all vegetarian. I’m sure cookbooks aren’t meant to be coffee table books, but mine live on my coffee table…so I can flip though and savor the beautiful images.
In Plenty, Ottelenghi organizes his recipes by ingredient (roots, onions, mushrooms, zucchini etc.) In Plenty More he organizes the recipes by how the food is prepared ( tossed, steamed, grilled , baked etc.) This recipe is from the “roasted” section ( Page 158).
Roasted Eggplant with Black Garlic is a healthy, easy recipe that looks like you slaved hours in the kitchen preparing a company worthy dish. When in reality, it’s just a bit of slicing and a bit of mixing. Super Easy.
First, you’ll slice the eggplant (or Aubergine as it’s called in other parts of the world) and coat with olive oil and salt and pepper. You’ll roast them in the oven for about 30 min, until they are completely soft and golden brown.
The diva of this recipe is the black garlic yogurt sauce. Just a few ingredients and a few minutes processing time will transform the roasted eggplant from really good to out of this world!. I didn’t have any trouble finding black garlic, it was readily available at my local Asian market. It’s worth sourcing out! If your local stores don’t carry black garlic you can order it from Amazon.
The black garlic yogurt sauce is made in a food processor or blender by combing the black garlic with yogurt, salt and pepper and lemon juice. Don’t be alarmed by the amount of black garlic this recipe calls for ( 8 large cloves or 16 small cloves) black garlic is so mild and deliciously earthy.
Roasted garlic ( the regular kind) and chile slices give this dish a final little “kick”. Red chili slices and slices of garlic are sautéed in olive oil until they are golden brown and crispy. You can adjust the quantities of either or both of these ingredients to suit your tastes.
Now comes the fun part…arranging the roasted eggplant and fresh herbs (dill, basil and tarragon) and “bashing” the yogurt sauce. Ottolenghi suggests taking a large slotted spoon and spooning some of the black garlic yogurt sauce and “holding it over the eggplant, bash the handle onto the palm of your free hand to seriously shake the spoon and cause the sauce to escape through the holes and onto the eggplant”. Not everyday you get recipe instructions to “bash” anything ! I ended up spooning the sauce on, because apparently my “bashing” skills need a little work (or perhaps a slotted spoon with slightly larger slots would have worked better).
Served with some crusty artisan bread this makes a great light meal or would be a perfect side dish.
Cheers! To Ottolenghi.. may there be plenty, plenty, plenty MORE!
Roasted Eggplant with Black Garlic
- 3 medium eggplants sliced crosswise into rounds 2/3 inch thick
- ½ cup olive oil divided + additional for cooking
- 8 large or 16 small cloves black garlic peeled *
- 1 cup Greek yogurt plain
- 1 ½ tsp lemon juice
- 7 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 3 red chiles cut on the diagonal into slices 1/4 inch thick
- ⅓ cup dill leaves
- 2 ½ tbsp basil leaves
- 2 ½ tbsp tarragon leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 475 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl (or ziplock bag) place the eggplant, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and mix to coat eggplant. Place eggplant on the prepared baking sheets. Roast in the oven for 30 min., until golden brown and completely soft. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
- In a food processor (or blender) add black garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 Tbsp olive oil, and 2 Tbsp Greek yogurt and lemon juice. Form a rough paste by pulsing for approx. 1 min. Transfer paste to a bowl and add the remaining yogurt. Set aside in the refrigerator.
- In a small saucepan, add olive oil and heat over high heat. Add garlic and sliced chiles and reduce heat to medium and cook for approx. 5 min. until garlic is golden brown and chiles are crispy. Transfer the garlic and chiles to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon.
- On a platter, arrange the eggplant slices so they are just overlapping. Spoon yogurt sauce over eggplant. Sprinkle with the fresh herbs (dill, tarragon and basil) garlic and chiles.
* black garlic can be found at your local Asian market or online